If you updated your HomePod to 13.2, do not reset it or remove it from the Home app

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2019
Apple has withdrawn the HomePod 13.2 update. If you've had a successful update, you're fine -- but do not reset the HomePod, nor remove it from the Home app, or you're going to have a problem that will require service.

Apple HomePod smart speaker in white


Apple retracted the HomePod 13.2 update at some point on Monday evening. The retraction was following reports of long updates, with users resetting the HomePod to try and restart the process.

Unfortunately, this results in a non-functional HomePod, stuck in a boot loop. The only resort for this is to contact Apple support, and make an appointment at the Genius Bar, or mail the device in. It isn't yet clear if venues other than Apple itself can fix a bricked HomePod, and we're trying to find out.

Specifically, Apple provides this advice in a newly-updated support document, that details how to reset your HomePod. Leading the article is the admonishment, specifically telling users not to reset at 13.2 HomePod.

"If your HomePod is running iOS 13.2, don't follow these steps," Apple says. "If you've already reset or removed your HomePod from the Home app, contact Apple Support."

Based on early feedback from service departments that AppleInsider was able to contact on Tuesday morning, so far the problem seems fairly small, and limited to a small percentage of users that were seeing the long update time and reset. Based on use patterns we've seen, most HomePod users don't have automatic updates enabled, so this may in fact be a limited problem -- but we'll see.

Saying it's a small percentage is fine, but that's not helpful to the folks impacted. We'll update this post when we see signs of the new update.

Almost two years ago now, we said that Apple's software problems didn't need a drastic fix. We're starting to re-think that, because while there may be a problem now and again with a firmware update, there shouldn't ever be a mass-bricking from it.
jahblade
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    edited October 2019 chaickajahbladerazorpithodarequality72521magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,343administrator
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    razorpitflyingdpmagman1979caladanianAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 60
    ZhelyoZhelyo Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I’m one of those people who’ve got that issue, and I don’t know what to do. The problem is that I live in Bulgaria and there a no Apple store I can bring it to. So I’m really hoping Apple comes out with a software or some kind of a solution to this problem, cuz I’m going mad. 
    donjuanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 60
    Mine didn't do the auto-update. Still on iOS 12.4 from July. 
    jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    Taking these beasts to the Apple store given their weight brings a whole new meaning to being 'bricked!'
    razorpitdonjuanwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 6 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,343administrator
    MacPro said:
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    Taking these beasts to the Apple store given their weight brings a whole new meaning to being 'bricked!'
    Man, I had to bring in a quad-G5 once into Tyson's. Ouch. Those handles were sharp!
    caladanianmuthuk_vanalingamrazorpitmagman1979donjuanwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Zhelyo said:
    I’m one of those people who’ve got that issue, and I don’t know what to do. The problem is that I live in Bulgaria and there a no Apple store I can bring it to. So I’m really hoping Apple comes out with a software or some kind of a solution to this problem, cuz I’m going mad. 
    I think the boot process gets hosed when you try and reset with 13.2. Don’t know how they could introduce a software fix for the bricked HomePods. Under normal conditions once you do the hard reset (red light at top of HomePod) the device should complete its booting and prompt you to setup. The problem is the boot doesn’t compete and the device reboots ad infinitum. They introduced a serious bug in a step that most tech savvy people would take when having issues. Apple Music was inaccessible yesterday for a bunch of people and that probably prompted a bunch of resets. So after encountering these issues and bricking my device I brought it into an Apple store. They had no way to fix it so they replaced mine.
    caladanianchaickadonjuanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 60
    Im glad i quit updating and didnt reset the darn beasts, Apple be like Android??
    anantksundaramflyingdpdonjuanstanhope
  • Reply 9 of 60
    MorkMork Posts: 20member

    I think the boot process gets hosed when you try and reset with 13.2. Don’t know how they could introduce a software fix for the bricked HomePods. Under normal conditions once you do the hard reset (red light at top of HomePod) the device should complete its booting and prompt you to setup. The problem is the boot doesn’t compete and the device reboots ad infinitum. They introduced a serious bug in a step that most tech savvy people would take when having issues. Apple Music was inaccessible yesterday for a bunch of people and that probably prompted a bunch of resets. So after encountering these issues and bricking my device I brought it into an Apple store. They had no way to fix it so they replaced mine.
    I had the same years ago with my iPhone 5S. Update did not finish so I reset the phone into a boot loop, had to go to the ....Genius Bar.... they replaced the phone.

    So this is not a new issue.
    caladanian
  • Reply 10 of 60
    I guess I should've waited, but I couldn't wait to try out the update since it came out like 6 weeks after the iPhone update. I have two HomePods. The one I've had for a while updated fine. The one I bought last week appeared to update, but was not connecting to the Home app or responding right, so that's when I followed the Apple Support page's instructions: remove from Home app, unplug and reset etc. yep.. stuck on endless swirly white reboots. I called and they told me to bring it into the Apple Store for replacement.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 60
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,229member
    Mork said:

    I think the boot process gets hosed when you try and reset with 13.2. Don’t know how they could introduce a software fix for the bricked HomePods. Under normal conditions once you do the hard reset (red light at top of HomePod) the device should complete its booting and prompt you to setup. The problem is the boot doesn’t compete and the device reboots ad infinitum. They introduced a serious bug in a step that most tech savvy people would take when having issues. Apple Music was inaccessible yesterday for a bunch of people and that probably prompted a bunch of resets. So after encountering these issues and bricking my device I brought it into an Apple store. They had no way to fix it so they replaced mine.
    I had the same years ago with my iPhone 5S. Update did not finish so I reset the phone into a boot loop, had to go to the ....Genius Bar.... they replaced the phone.

    So this is not a new issue.
    A friend of mine just had this same thing happen on launch day with his iPhone 11 Pro. They replaced the phone that same night.  
    donjuanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Apple doesn’t do a good job validating their software.  Safari doesn’t work right on my iPad since the iPadOS release started.  Apple needs to focus more on quality and less on “it compiles, ship it.”
    WTimbermanboboliciousnetmageflyingdpdonjuangilly33Alex1N
  • Reply 13 of 60
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,057member
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    It seems to be that there are lots of software bugs with all the new updates this year (iPhone, mac, now Homepod).    I'm waiting till 2020 to do any updates.
    boboliciousdonjuanAlex1N
  • Reply 14 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,343administrator
    k2kw said:
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    It seems to be that there are lots of software bugs with all the new updates this year (iPhone, mac, now Homepod).    I'm waiting till 2020 to do any updates.
    Other than the HomePod one, its been about the same as every year.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 60
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,306member
    This sounds like two problems. Something that causes a long update process and/or people are being impatient, and a fault in the reset process. 

    For the second thing, that’s not completely surprising. Rebooting during an incomplete OS update is inherently going to be a dicey prospect. Starting up a computer without a complete OS has a high probability of failure. Presumably there’s some design to have the device revert to a ‘safe mode’ that would allow for a fresh download and complete OS re-build, but if an abort/reset happens at the wrong time, it might to be able to reach the safe mode. The modified Apple restart advice regarding 13.2 suggests whatever the problem is, it hits at a point when restarting won’t get to that safe mode. 

    I’m still wondering how widespread the issue actually is. It’s obviously not zero, but this board isn’t stacked up with people who have bricked HomePods, so it seems possible the issue may be somewhat limited. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    MacPro said:
    MacPro said:
    Good to know.  Mine updated and are working fine but thanks for the information, I will leave well alone.  This is very unusual and un-Apple-like.
    Yeah. We're not happy.
    Taking these beasts to the Apple store given their weight brings a whole new meaning to being 'bricked!'
    Man, I had to bring in a quad-G5 once into Tyson's. Ouch. Those handles were sharp!
    After lugging Cheese graters around in my older years and hurting bad was why I loved the 2013 Mac Pro so much.  That said back in the day when I had exhibition booths at Mac World most years lifting large CRT monitors in and out of boxes at the start and end of the shows probably damaged my back for life.  It was only the beer jugs in Fanuielle Hall and Pier 39 that saved me. :)

    BTW I now suspect my HomePods never actually updated.  I just assumed they had as I saw the Homekit app trying and was too busy to really check closely.  I can well imagine had I looked deeper I'd have done a full reset too!  I think  I just dodged a bullet.
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,343administrator
    AppleZulu said:
    This sounds like two problems. Something that causes a long update process and/or people are being impatient, and a fault in the reset process. 

    For the second thing, that’s not completely surprising. Rebooting during an incomplete OS update is inherently going to be a dicey prospect. Starting up a computer without a complete OS has a high probability of failure. Presumably there’s some design to have the device revert to a ‘safe mode’ that would allow for a fresh download and complete OS re-build, but if an abort/reset happens at the wrong time, it might to be able to reach the safe mode. The modified Apple restart advice regarding 13.2 suggests whatever the problem is, it hits at a point when restarting won’t get to that safe mode. 

    I’m still wondering how widespread the issue actually is. It’s obviously not zero, but this board isn’t stacked up with people who have bricked HomePods, so it seems possible the issue may be somewhat limited. 
    We'll know more in regards to volumes in a few hours.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,451member
    AppleZulu said:
    This sounds like two problems. Something that causes a long update process and/or people are being impatient, and a fault in the reset process. 

    For the second thing, that’s not completely surprising. Rebooting during an incomplete OS update is inherently going to be a dicey prospect. Starting up a computer without a complete OS has a high probability of failure. Presumably there’s some design to have the device revert to a ‘safe mode’ that would allow for a fresh download and complete OS re-build, but if an abort/reset happens at the wrong time, it might to be able to reach the safe mode. The modified Apple restart advice regarding 13.2 suggests whatever the problem is, it hits at a point when restarting won’t get to that safe mode. 

    I’m still wondering how widespread the issue actually is. It’s obviously not zero, but this board isn’t stacked up with people who have bricked HomePods, so it seems possible the issue may be somewhat limited. 
    I bet many did abort and restart in frustration and you are right that can be a very bad idea.  I did notice the 'update' seemed to be taking forever and I was luckily going out on errands so I just forget about it and several hours later the Application on the iPhone had seemingly finished so I assumed it had succeeded.  I now suspect it had actually timed out.

    Is there a way to tell if the HomePods updated or not?  I haven't looked but I am guessing there is a way to see the HomePods' install version on the iPhone or Mac somewhere?
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 19 of 60
    My 3.2 update for two stereo-paired HomePods finished successfully, although the Home App hung on installing. (I let the app run for an hour without interrupting it, long past the time when the update-in-progress lights went out on the two HomePods. When I finally did give up, and resorted to force quitting and restarting the Home app on my iPhone, it did indicate that the 3.2 update had in fact been completed.)

    The problem now is that AirPlay is COMPLETELY borked. The only way my two HomePods will play as a stereo pair is if I start an Apple Music stream directly from them. AirPlay results in one speaker only playing, although both show the lit-up plus and minus signs. If I tap on the dead one to try to encourage it to play, the plus and minus lights go out. If I tap it again, it starts paying something else from my library, and the other speaker shuts off. Meanwhile, the AirPlay source, whether it's a Mac or iOS device, keeps playing the original selection. THEN a message pops up on the source warning that I'm streaming to two devices, and asks if I'd like to upgrade to a family plan!

    Tell you what. AirPlay 2 has NEVER worked right for me, and all my Apple devices -- iMac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch -- are the latest versions, and have been running the latest software updates throughout this agonizing Catalina/iOS 13/iPadOS 13 putz-with-it-till-it-sort-of-works update cycle. This latest screw-up, though, is absolutely crazy-making. It seems as though every time Apple issues a software update these days, more stuff that WAS working quits working, and it's half a year and several updates more before things go back to working -- sometimes -- as well as they were working before the update. At this point, I feel like mailing both my HomePods back to Tim Cook, and telling him where to stick them (And no, that wouldn't be on the ever growing pile of refurb candidates.)
    flyingdpAlex1N
  • Reply 20 of 60
    technotechno Posts: 733member
    I am normally the annoying guy at the table defending Apple to the end. However, I have to say this has not been a good month of software rollouts. Staggered releases with changing dates with bugs, bugs and more bugs. This HomePod issue really should necessitate someone losing their job. The other issues this month were excusable, I guess. But, this one is not.
    flyingdpstanhopewatto_cobraAlex1N
Sign In or Register to comment.