Apple releases its first HomePod software update, but no AirPlay 2 or pairing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2018
Apple has issued a software update to the HomePod alongside updates for iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3, and watchOS 4.3, bringing the firmware for the smart speaker up to version 11.3, with today's release also marking the first update of the audio device's software since it shipped.

Apple HomePod


Previously running on HomePod version 11.2.5, the update brings the HomePod's software to the same numerical version as both releases to tvOS and iOS. Since its availability in February, the device has not needed to receive an update, but Apple did include a mechanism to update the software from launch.

The update, bearing build number 15E217, weighs in at 2.36 gigabytes, but it is unclear what changes are made or new features are being added, if any. The release notes briefly state it includes "general improvements for stability and quality."

One of the changes expected to arrive is AirPlay 2, but the lack of the updated communications protocol in iOS 11.3 puts its existence on HomePod in doubt. AirPlay 2's main improvement is support for streaming audio to multiple devices simultaneously, such as HomePods and Apple TVs, as well as incorporating AirPlay 2-supporting speakers into HomeKit.

AirPlay 2 did make an appearance in the first two iOS 11.3 betas, but subsequently disappeared for reasons unknown.

The HomePod is capable of performing updates automatically, but it is also possible to manually trigger it to go through the update process.

After updating an iOS device to 11.3, users need to enter the Home app, tap the location icon in the top left, then tap Software Update. Selecting the following Install button will install the update on all HomePod speakers set up on the network at the same time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    jknashjknash Posts: 2member
    Interestingly there are two places where you can see the version of the software for the HomePod one locationIs in the HomeKit app and the details for the HomePodThe other is under settings iCloud settings which then list all Apple devices in that location my HomePod are still reporting the previous version number this may just be a bug that seems odd that they’re reporting different numbers
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    jknash said:
    Interestingly there are two places where you can see the version of the software for the HomePod one locationIs in the HomeKit app and the details for the HomePodThe other is under settings iCloud settings which then list all Apple devices in that location my HomePod are still reporting the previous version number this may just be a bug that seems odd that they’re reporting different numbers
    If you log out of iCloud and then back in again the version usually updates to the correct one under iCloud settings 
  • Reply 3 of 24
    clarker99clarker99 Posts: 202member
    2.3gb update for stability and quality improvements? That is a pretty big file so has to be more to it? No?
  • Reply 4 of 24
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 710member
    I sure hope this fixes Siri's "hard of hearing" issue I experienced with my original HomePod and with the replacement I bought after returning the original. Apple support couldn't figure out the problem, which is why they offered a refund.

    On both HomePods, Siri will gradually become hard of hearing to the point I have to yell at the device at close range in order for it to hear me. Unplugging the HomePod and plugging it back in completely resolves the issue...for a couple of hours to a couple of days until it happens again.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 568member
    clarker99 said:
    2.3gb update for stability and quality improvements? That is a pretty big file so has to be more to it? No?
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a clean install is better than a patch. 
  • Reply 6 of 24
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    hexclock said:
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a clean install is better than a patch. 
    And this after Apple pushed the idea of delta updates so hard.
    muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 7 of 24
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    Mike
    Have you heard anything about this update changing the sound profile of the HomePod?  Thread is starting to fill up on MR with people stating this update lessens the bass and makes the mids more prominent.  Several people have done comparisons and it appears to be the case.  Anecdotal I know.  If true, people should probably know before updating.  Some like the way the HomePod sounds right now.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,570administrator
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    Mike
    Have you heard anything about this update changing the sound profile of the HomePod?  Thread is starting to fill up on MR with people stating this update lessens the bass and makes the mids more prominent.  Several people have done comparisons and it appears to be the case.  Anecdotal I know.  If true, people should probably know before updating.  Some like the way the HomePod sounds right now.
    Doesn't seem to, but given how the HomePod surveys the space, it might be different if that survey data is being used differently now after the patch. I'll see what I can find out.
    1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 9 of 24
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    Mike
    Have you heard anything about this update changing the sound profile of the HomePod?  Thread is starting to fill up on MR with people stating this update lessens the bass and makes the mids more prominent.  Several people have done comparisons and it appears to be the case.  Anecdotal I know.  If true, people should probably know before updating.  Some like the way the HomePod sounds right now.
    Doesn't seem to, but given how the HomePod surveys the space, it might be different if that survey data is being used differently now after the patch. I'll see what I can find out.
    For the audiophiles among us:
    http://studiosixdigital.com/audiotools-modules-2/acoustic-analysis-modules/rta/ http://studiosixdigital.com/audiotools-modules-2/acoustic-analysis-modules/fft/
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 10 of 24
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 738member
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    Mike
    Have you heard anything about this update changing the sound profile of the HomePod?  Thread is starting to fill up on MR with people stating this update lessens the bass and makes the mids more prominent.  Several people have done comparisons and it appears to be the case.  Anecdotal I know.  If true, people should probably know before updating.  Some like the way the HomePod sounds right now.
    Have you done this update and noticed a difference ?   I am just in from work and haven’t updated and devices yet. I am happy with the HomePod sound as is. I actually think it’s sounding better than out of the box as everything is breaking in with  use. Thank you very much for bringing this up. I will hold until there is more info. 
  • Reply 11 of 24
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    Mike
    Have you heard anything about this update changing the sound profile of the HomePod?  Thread is starting to fill up on MR with people stating this update lessens the bass and makes the mids more prominent.  Several people have done comparisons and it appears to be the case.  Anecdotal I know.  If true, people should probably know before updating.  Some like the way the HomePod sounds right now.
    I just updated, and don't notice a change in any loss of low end - perhaps even tighter; it does seem mid range is a better.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    iPhone X is iOS 11, but there is no update for HomePod. It says HomePod 11.2.5 (15D61) Your HomePod is up to date. DISREGARD. It is there now. Can't delete this comment :(
    It can take a bit to propagate updates on busy days. No blood no foul.
    I saw same going into my software update for home app but I turned update auto on and off, backed out and all of a sudden the software update -- 1 item showed went back and clicked download and update it is downloading now. I guess I could have waited for the auto update to Cath but did my iPhone X, iPad Pro ad Apple Watch 3 might as well Finnish -- oh got to do my Apple TV also LOL
  • Reply 13 of 24
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    I also think this is work toward stereo Airplay 2 support. I use Airfoil with two Homepods on my desk, and with 11.2.5, it didn't sound very good using the left/right balance trick. Very poor center image, impacting vocal especially.

    This version improves on that a bit, likely through better room analysis sensing, though there is still work to be done. Obviously, AirFoil is the imperfect solution as Airplay 2 will have the appropriate processing (one hopes) to properly deal with imaging for a stereo pair - sound needs to be focused more out of the "front" of each Homepod, but their circular design mandates that the HomePod "figures out" what is the "front" of each speaker, meaning it needs to know where one is listening from

     Apple will have change the manner in which the drivers work for stereo imaging. Perhaps we will use the + - symbols for alignment?
  • Reply 14 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,569member
    hexclock said:
    Not necessarily. Sometimes a clean install is better than a patch. 
    And this after Apple pushed the idea of delta updates so hard.
    I’ve never done clean installs and somehow have managed to flourish.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 15 of 24
    zroger73 said:
    I sure hope this fixes Siri's "hard of hearing" issue I experienced with my original HomePod and with the replacement I bought after returning the original. Apple support couldn't figure out the problem, which is why they offered a refund.

    On both HomePods, Siri will gradually become hard of hearing to the point I have to yell at the device at close range in order for it to hear me. Unplugging the HomePod and plugging it back in completely resolves the issue...for a couple of hours to a couple of days until it happens again.
    I can be two rooms away (open floor plan) and the HomePod hears me fine.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    It is apparently not necessary to update your iOS device first. I haven’t updated this iPad (or anything else) to 11.3 yet, looked into the Home app and it found the update for the HomePod. Haven’t installed it yet, but it’s there and available.
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,460member
    After the update, does the HomePod still over-emphasize VLF (very low frequency) bass? It annoys and hurts my ears.
    Does the HomePod now support a wider array of Internet radio streams?
  • Reply 18 of 24
    zroger73 said:
    I sure hope this fixes Siri's "hard of hearing" issue I experienced with my original HomePod and with the replacement I bought after returning the original. Apple support couldn't figure out the problem, which is why they offered a refund.

    On both HomePods, Siri will gradually become hard of hearing to the point I have to yell at the device at close range in order for it to hear me. Unplugging the HomePod and plugging it back in completely resolves the issue...for a couple of hours to a couple of days until it happens again.
    You have the Senior edition. 
    zroger73
  • Reply 19 of 24
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member
    I think that Apple will wait till WWDC to announce AirPlay 2 support along with at east a couple OEM that will support it.

    I wonder if one of them will be Sonos.   
  • Reply 20 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    k2kw said:
    I think that Apple will wait till WWDC to announce AirPlay 2 support along with at east a couple OEM that will support it.

    I wonder if one of them will be Sonos.   

    It's looking like they may as well do it.   I know i'm waiting for Sonos and Bose but i'm also interested in what AVR will support AP2 so that I can make the 
    purchase that's going to integrate nicely. 


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