There may be a new HomePod speaker arriving next week, but existing HomePod owners aren’t getting the silent treatment. Alongside iOS 16.3, Apple has pushed HomePod software version 16.3 to all HomePod and HomePod mini devices and it includes way more than the usual “general performance and stability improvements.”
In fact, not since version 14.1, which added Intercom and several new Siri features, has the HomePod received so many new features in one update. Most notably, HomePod 16.3 will activate the temperature and humidity sensor in the HomePod mini for measuring the climate of the room. The dormant sensor was discovered in the HomePod mini during teardowns, but it took more than two years for Apple to do anything with it.
Additionally, the update contains the following new features:
Remastered ambient sounds are more immersive and can now be added to scenes, automations, and alarms in the Home app.Find My on HomePod now enables you to ask Siri for the location of friends and family, if they have shared it with you. Recurring Home automations can be set up using just your voice.Siri confirmation tone will now play to indicate when smart home requests are completed for accessories that may not visibly show a change or are located in a different room.Audio tuning optimizes spoken content such as podcasts for even greater clarity on HomePod (2nd generation) and HomePod (1st generation).Updated volume controls on HomePod (1st generation) give you more granular adjustments at lower volumes.
The HomePod update began rolling out on Tuesday, but it could take a while to reach all devcies. To update your HomePod, go to the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, tap the three-dot menu in the top right, then Home Settings, and finally Software Update. If the HomePod 16.3 update is available, tap Update and follow the prompts. Once the update begins, a white spinning light will appear on the top of your HomePod or HomePod mini until the update has finished installing.