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How to download and install the HomePod Software 16 public beta

How to download and install the HomePod Software 16 public beta

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This is the first time Apple has seeded a public beta of the HomePod software

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Apple’s public beta software program is now available on HomePod minis.
Apple’s public beta software program is now available on HomePod minis.
Photo by Jennifer Tuohy / The Verge

The new HomePod Software 16 is available in Apple’s public beta software program for the first time, and you can download it today. However, at its June WWDC event, 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 are focused on preparations for the coming of the Matter smart home standard — due to arrive 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 will be required for using Matter smart home accessories in HomeKit. So you probably only want to give this a whirl if you are trying out the public beta software of the Home app in iOS 16.

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

How to install the HomePod Software 16 public beta

You can choose which of your HomePod minis run the public beta in a new settings screen in the Home app.
You can choose which of your HomePod minis run 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-sized HomePod will be updated to 16. To get the software update on your mini, follow these steps:

  • Sign up for Apple’s beta program, or sign in if you’re an existing member.
  • Once you’re signed 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 will need to enroll your iPad or iPhone and be running 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 Settings, scroll down, and tap Software Update.
  • Enroll the HomePod mini you want on the beta program (you can choose several if you have more than one).
  • The HomePod mini will update to the latest beta.
  • Toggle on Automatic Updates (found on the previous screen) to get the latest beta software installed as it rolls out.

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