Thursday, July 14, 2022
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Apple seeds first public beta of HomePod Software 16, here’s how to get it

Apple is seeding the first public beta of HomePod Software 16 for the HomePod mini. While OG HomePod owners won’t be able to try the beta version now, the software will be available later this fall to all Apple smart speakers owners. This release comes alongside the revised build of iOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura, and the public beta versions of all the upcoming operating systems Apple is readying for later this fall.

To install HomePod Software 16 public beta, users need a HomePod mini and either an iPhone or iPad running iOS 16 or iPadOS 16. From your device of choice, go to the Home App > Home Settings > Software Update > HomePod Beta Updates and enroll the HomePod mini you want on the Beta program.

Your HomePod mini will automatically receive the latest public beta software if you have Automatically Update turned on in the Software Updates settings. To manually check for updates, go to Home App > Home Settings > Software Update. You can learn how to enroll your iPhone on iOS 16 here.

As 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito previously noted, in order to choose which HomePods will receive beta software, you just have to enable the individual toggle for each speaker. Then it should get the beta update. Turning off the toggle will stop that HomePod from receiving beta updates.

As of now, it’s unclear what HomePod Software 16 public beta brings. Although it’s a modified version of tvOS 16, the new features available to the Apple TV will not be available to your HomePod.

Here are tvOS 16 top features coming to Apple TVs later this fall:

  • Nintendo Switch controllers compatibility: tvOS 16 will finally support Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons and Pro Controller. We feature this story here at 9to5Mac. Apple says “many additional Bluetooth and USB game controllers are supported by the Game Controller” starting with tvOS 16;
  • HDR10+ support: The latest generation of high dynamic range technology will be supported in the Apple TV app on tvOS 16;
  • Video-forward featuring on the Apple TV+ tab: Rich video previews at the top of the Apple TV+ tab help users discover their next favorite Apple Original;
  • Apple Fitness+: With tvOS 16, at key moments in the workout, Intensity Metrics are called out and will appear on the screen for motivation. The intensities are Easy, Moderate, Hard, and All Out.

There are a few reasons why Apple is making HomePod Software 16 public beta available only for the mini models as the original HomePod got discontinued last year. One of which is that it’s easier to restore your HomePod mini if anything goes wrong, while if you brick your original HomePod, well, you’re out of luck.

If you spot any changes in HomePod Software 16 public beta or the other betas from Apple today, let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @9to5Mac. Stay tuned for our full hands-on coverage with the releases right here at 9to5Mac if we find anything new. 

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