How to get the latest HomePod software update

Your HomePod is more than just a speaker – it’s a complete computer. And like any computer, it has an operating system that requires occasional updates.

Here’s how to make sure your Apple smart speaker has the latest software.

A little information about the HomePod software

Apple offers macOS, iOS, tvOS and more. You might think HomePod’s operating system has a similar name. No. It’s called “HomePod Software”.

It’s apparently a variant of Apple TV’s tvOS that’s been tweaked specifically for this smart speaker. It makes sense – both are focused on media playback, support Siri, and don’t have to worry about wireless cellular connections.

And new versions of HomePod software usually come out when Apple TV updates. iPhone and iPad updates are usually introduced at the same time. And all version numbers are synchronized.

How to update your HomePod software

Currently, your Apple smart speaker should be on HomePod software version 15.3. This is true whether you own an original HomePod or HomePod mini.

The new version debuted in late January, the same day as tvOS 15.3 and iOS 15.3. It includes improvements for users in India or Italy.

You can be sure that your device has this version in just a few steps.

  1. Open the Homepage app on your iPhone
  2. Press the button to Home tab in the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Press the home button in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Home settings from the resulting pop-up window.
  4. Scroll to Software update and press it.
Open the Apple Home app, then follow steps 2-4.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple will send you a cheerful “All accessories are up to date” message if you get caught up. To check for yourself, press Recently updated and you will get a description of the latest released version.

But if you are not caught up, you will see an Update Available message instead. There will be a Update all button next to that. Tap on it to see what the new version is and start the installation process.

Check if your HomePod has the latest software update
If your HomePod has the latest software update, you’ll see the message on the left. If a newer update is available, you’ll see the message on the right.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Set HomePod to (not) update automatically

By default, your smart speaker is set to automatically install the latest version of HomePod software. If you don’t want to tinker with updating this device, you never have to think about it again.

Just be aware that automatic updates do not start immediately. From my personal experience, it may take a few days after the software is released for your device to receive the update. If you’re someone who likes to be sure you’re running the latest software on all your devices, you can always come in and request an immediate update by following the steps above. The best time to check is right after a tvOS or iOS update is released.

Or there is the exact opposite scenario. If you’re happy with your HomePod now and don’t want to risk a bad software update messing it up, you can turn off automatic updates. It’s easy.

  1. Open the Homepage app on your iPhone
  2. Press the button to Home tab in the lower left corner of the screen.
  3. Press the home button in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Home settings from the resulting pop-up window.
  4. Scroll to Software update and press it
  5. In the Automatic updates screen section, turn off the switch next to HomePod.
Disable automatic HomePod software updates
You can enable or disable automatic HomePod software updates with a simple toggle switch.

You can also consider doing this for other updated accessories from the Home app.

Don’t forget you did this. By disabling automatic updates, you will never receive another one until you manually request it. You might close yourself to useful features to come.

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