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Download and install the HomePod Software 16 public beta

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The new HomePod Software 16 is available for the first time in Apple’s public beta software program and you can download it today. At the June WWDC event, however, Apple didn’t reveal any new features coming to the HomePods with the software update, so it’s probably all about under the hood stuff.

In fact, it’s likely that any updates will focus on preparations for the arrival of the Matter smart home standard — which will be out this fall — and support for Apple’s all-new Home app coming in iOS 16. Along with the Apple TV, the HomePod mini is a hub for Apple’s HomeKit smart home ecosystem, and a hub is required to use Matter’s smart home accessories in HomeKit. So you’ll probably only want to give this a try if you’re trying out the Home app’s public beta software in iOS 16.

The new software in the HomePod mini will help support the Home app in iOS 16’s HomeKit.
Image: Apple

You can choose which of your HomePod minis are running the public beta in a new settings screen in the Home app.
Image: Apple

Currently, the public beta is only available on HomePod mini speakers. We don’t know yet if Apple’s discontinued full-size HomePod will be updated to 16. Follow these steps to get the software update on your mini:

  • Sign up for Apple’s beta programor log in if you are an existing member.
  • Once you are logged in, click on the Enroll your devices tab in the menu bar.
  • Click HomePod Software in the list of software betas.
  • If you haven’t participated in the beta yet, you’ll need to enroll your iPad or iPhone and run the iOS 16 public beta on one of these devices. (You cannot download the HomePod Software 16 without an iOS device running iOS 16.)
  • Once you have the public beta on your iOS device, go to the Home app, tap the Home icon in the top left corner, go to Home Settingsscroll down and tap software update
  • Enroll the HomePod mini you want into the beta program (you can choose more than one if you have more than one).
  • The HomePod mini will be updated to the latest beta.
  • Switch on Automatic updates (found on the previous screen) to install the latest beta software as it rolls out.

This is a beta software program and as such you may encounter bugs or issues. You can download the Apple Feedback Assistant app to submit any issues. You can also restore your HomePod mini factory reset using a USB-C cable and a Mac or PC if you no longer wish to participate.

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