iOS 16 is finally available for registered users in the Apple Beta Software Program along with iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and macOS Ventura. However, for the first time, Apple has also made HomePod Software 16 beta available to users. Read on as we detail how to install HomePod Software 16 public beta on your HomePod.
In the past, the only way to install beta software on the HomePod was by being invited through the AppleSeed program – which is quite limited compared to the public beta program. Even developers didn’t have access to the HomePod software beta.
Starting today, the HomePod Software 16 beta is available for the first time to public beta users, which means that anyone can install the beta software on their HomePod. However, there’s a catch.
HomePod Software 16 public beta is only available for the HomePod mini. Owners of the original HomePod released in 2018 can’t install the latest beta, at least not officially. That doesn’t mean that the original HomePod won’t get the update later this year, as a beta update for the original model is available through the AppleSeed program.
Apple doesn’t detail the reasons why the public beta is only available for the HomePod mini, but we assume this is related to the fact that the original HomePod can’t be connected to a Mac in order to restore its firmware. HomePod mini, on the other hand, has a USB-C port so that users can restore its firmware through a Mac.
How to install HomePod Software 16 public beta
Keep in mind that in order to install HomePod Software 16 beta on your HomePod mini, your iPhone or iPad must be running iOS 16 or iPadOS 16. If you haven’t installed the latest beta software on your iOS device yet, check out our guide on how to install iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 public beta.
If your iPhone or iPad is already running the latest iOS 16 beta, you just need to follow these steps to get the HomePod Software 16 beta update on your HomePod:
- Open the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the “…” button in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Tap Home Settings
- Choose the Software Update option
- Go to the HomePod Beta Updates menu
- Switch on the toggles for the HomePods you want to install the beta software on
After that, the Home app will show you the latest beta update available for your HomePod mini.
What’s new with the update?
Unfortunately, there are no release notes on what’s new in HomePod Software 16. With iOS 16 and tvOS 16, Apple has finally been implementing the new “Matter” protocol for home automation devices, so it’s quite likely that HomePod Software 16 will add Matter support to the HomePod.
Apple announced last month that iPads will no longer work as a HomeKit hub for users with Matter-enabled accessories. Now the only HomeKit hub options will be an Apple TV or HomePod running the latest software.
HomePod Software 16 will be available to all HomePod users this fall.
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