Apple gearing up to re-release revamped HomeKit architecture

Posted:
in iOS
New unearthed code suggests that Apple will soon re-release its Homekit architecture after it initially withdrew the option in December.

Apple's December HomeKit architecture rollout
Apple's December HomeKit architecture rollout


In December, Apple withdrew the option to upgrade Homekit to the new architecture, following reports the update wasn't working properly for users.

New code discovered by Twitter users nicolas09F9 and aaronp613 references the second iteration of Apple's new HomeKit architecture.



The code suggests that Apple is gearing up for the feature's eventual re-released.

The iOS 16.3 beta also showed a message referencing a "Home Upgrade Available" "new underlying architecture that will improve the performance of your home." This is the same update message that appeared in iOS 16.2 before being pulled.

Screenshots sent in by Anthony Powell
Screenshots sent in by Anthony Powell


For the previous attempt, users reported seeing devices stuck in an "updating" mode after the upgrade completed, with some devices unresponsive or failing to update fully. At the time, it was unclear what had caused the problems as there weren't any commonalities between accounts of the issue.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    JP234JP234 Posts: 793member
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.
    racerhomie3byronllkruppwatto_cobrachadbagFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 2 of 17
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,855member
    Since 16.3 is already out, when will we see this Homekit update?
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    JP234 said:
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.

    I’m in complete agreement with you on this. I never install any beta., ever. I feel most people on the Apple betas are just in it for the new features early and not to report bugs.  In all fairness though, the new HomeKit architecture released with 16.2 was a public release.  
    edited January 24 lolliverbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    welshdog said:
    Since 16.3 is already out, when will we see this Homekit update?
    Yeah, I thought I had read something about this being released with 16.3. That's obviously not the case. If it needs to come out in another point release it might not be for a while.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,341member
    itinj24 said:
    JP234 said:
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.

    I’m in complete agreement with you on this. I never install any beta., ever. I feel most people on the Apple betas are just in it for the new features early and not to report bugs.  In all fairness though, the new HomeKit architecture released with 16.2 was a public release.  
    I don’t even think they’re in it for new features. It’s for the bragging rights alone and they inevitably install it on their daily, working devices.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,341member
    JP234 said:
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.
    This is by far the best advice I’ve ever seen on a tech blog.
    robin huberScot1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Would rather Apple fix the system they broke with the last update. Half of my HomeKit devices are offline and no amount of fiddling has been able to restore them. 
    williamlondonappleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    JP234JP234 Posts: 793member
    Would rather Apple fix the system they broke with the last update. Half of my HomeKit devices are offline and no amount of fiddling has been able to restore them. 
    Should have done a Time Machine backup right before you installed it. Learn from this, and back up before you install ANYTHING, including OS updates!
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 17
    JP234 said:
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.
    Couldn’t agree with you more! Heck I don’t even update immediately after they release anything, give it a week or two to see if they’ve broken something.. it’s a shame software isn’t tested like it use to be!
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 17
    JP234 said:
    Would rather Apple fix the system they broke with the last update. Half of my HomeKit devices are offline and no amount of fiddling has been able to restore them. 
    Should have done a Time Machine backup right before you installed it. Learn from this, and back up before you install ANYTHING, including OS updates!
    My TimeMachine backs up my Mac. HomeKit is installed on my HomePod. 
    williamlondonJanNLlolliver
  • Reply 11 of 17
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,821member
    I’m one of those who is always a version or three behind… in fact on my phone I went
    from iOS 14.7.1 to iOS 16 in preparation for buying a new phone.  


    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,650member
    Am I nervous? Hell yeah.

    It took me 2 ½ days to recover from 16.3 update. Here's what I found/discovered/stumbled across along the way:

    1. If your HomePods (minis in my case) are part of a stereo group and are going to be updated, ungroup them before starting the HomePod update process.

    2. Update one HomePod at a time and make sure it completes the entire process cleanly before touching other HomePods. Turn OFF automatic HomePod updates in advance in your Home app settings in-advance if you have stereo groups.

    3. If your HomePod gets totally borked and never goes beyond the "Updating ..." phase (for hours):
    - Plug the HomePod into your Mac using the power cable (USB-C for mini).
    - After a short while the HomePod will start blinking and show up in Finder.
    - Click on the device and Finder and do a Restore.
    - This will download and install the latest HomePod firmware/software on the HomePod (16.3 this week). It is does not reset everything to factory defaults.
    - When the process is complete you'll be prompted to disconnect it from your Mac.
    - You can also reset the HomePod directly from the device, but I never had success when I tried this. If the update/download failed it may still be at the previous version, i.e., 16.2 or a beta version. 

    4. If you do a Restore on a HomePod, before you plug it back in, remove it from your Home app - AND remove it from the device list associated with your Apple ID. You may have to wait for the device to no longer show up in the device list. Don't worry, it will come back once the device is added back into Home (as indicated during the removal process). Don't try to reinstall the device into your Home before all references to the device are no longer shown in your iCloud devices list. In my case I had a number of aborted attempts that left copies of the devices that never finished the process in my iCloud devices list, which caused the Add Accessory process to fail miserably. 

    5. You will have to add the HomePod (accessory) back to your Home as if it is totally new out of the box. But before you do ...

    6. Make you use the same device (iPhone or iPad) to perform all of your Accessory functions, like adding a new (or restored) accessory to your Home. This device must be at the latest iOS/iPadOS version.

    7. This may be a 16.3 specific issue, but make sure you don't enable any personalized options, e.g., Siri voice recognition, providing access to your calendar, etc., during the HomePod installation process. When the Add accessory process worked as it should I was prompted post-installation to enable these features. You can also toggle these ON in the device-level settings post-installation, after the HomePod no longer reports "Updating" but shows "Not playing." 

    8. This may also be specific to my Home, but as a last resort I deleted my Home and created a new one with a new name. I then added one HomePod at a time back to my new home with no other bridge devices (like Apple TV) plugged in. The HomePod mini itself is a bridge and adding it to your home with no other bridges present forces the HomePod to use its bridge functionality during the installation process. Everything went smoothly when I added each HomePod to my home. When the first HomePod mini got to the "Not Playing" state I unplugged it before adding my second HomePod mini to my home. Once the second HomePod mini was at the "Not Playing" state I plugged the first one back in and it too returned to the "Not Playing" state. I then added back in my other bridge devices (Apple TVs) and everything settled out and the Temperature and Humidity readings activated after a short period of time.

    If I had to guess, I think the root cause of the borkage is that the persistent configuration settings for the Home app are stored in the cloud linked to your AppleID. If something doesn't quite match between the accessory you're adding to your home and what's already in the persistent configuration settings in the cloud things go wrong very quickly. I seem to recall that I gave each of the HomePod minis in my stereo pair unique names, like "Mini 1" and "Mini 2," which became a pair that I named "Mini Pair." I suspect that when the pair was updated and given default names of 'HomePod" the Home app couldn't resolve which persistent configuration to restore into each of the HomePods when they were updated. Once I deleted the persistence data (Step 4) I left everything with default names and everything seemed to be fine. When you create a stereo pair the setup provides a way to disambiguate which one is left and which one is having the same names for both does not matter.  Hopefully Apple will figure out how to handle updates without having to ungroup stereo pairs. Maybe they already have and something I did beforehand unintentionally triggered the whole mess, like renaming the HomePods.
    edited January 26 FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamrundhvidavon b7
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Would rather Apple fix the system they broke with the last update. Half of my HomeKit devices are offline, and no amount of fiddling has been able to restore them. 
    I had the same issue. Tried removing the devices and adding them again. Nothing worked. So I just removed my HomeKit and started all over again with everything. I have a lot of HomeKit devices, so it was a real pain and took me an entire evening after work to set everything all up again and I'm still haven't finished setting up all my automations again. But all my devices are now up and running again. It was a lot of work but worth it in the end to get it all up and running.

    When Apple does re-release the HomeKit update I will be waiting at least a week to update. I didn't update right away the first time and I think the update was pulled an hour after I updated. I was so close to missing out on this headache. 
  • Reply 14 of 17
    JP234 said:
    Unless you're a developer, here's the best advice you'll hear on installing beta software: don't. And if you still feel the need to, do a current backup first, and take your device offline.

    As a consumer/enduser, you have nothing to lose by waiting for the official release. I spent 14 years working for an Apple Specialist and then Apple Inc. and never, ever installed a beta on any of my devices after seeing people coming in crying about what happened when they did.
    Couldn’t agree with you more! Heck I don’t even update immediately after they release anything, give it a week or two to see if they’ve broken something.. it’s a shame software isn’t tested like it use to be!
    Software testing has changed because the number of possible "common" configurations has grown to the point where it's not feasible to conduct thorough testing of every single permutation. The actual tests that are run tend to be more comprehensive than the tests designed even twenty years ago, the number of possible configurations tested has stayed about the same, but as a proportion of what the potential userbase has the tests don't cover as much as they used to.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,089member
    Reading these posts makes HomeKit seem like a mess, at best. I think I’ll wait a little longer before I dive in. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,650member
    hexclock said:
    Reading these posts makes HomeKit seem like a mess, at best. I think I’ll wait a little longer before I dive in. 
    Anecdotally, it seems like anything that Apple moves to cloud based syncing takes them a while to figure out. The fact that I can view my Home from several different devices and they appear to be different and never show any indications of being in a dirty state makes me very nervous. These are the exact same types of behaviors that I experienced when Apple moved things like your photos and music storage to the cloud, and to a lesser degree with iCloud storage. 

    In my mind, Apple really needs to religiously follow ACID based transactional semantics to cloud storage in a more visible way. If you access a cloud storage from any device it should be very apparent in the UI on that device if the view you are seeing is not 100% in sync with the managed and transacted backing storage. Apple loves to tout the “It Just Works” and “Magic” of its products to the point of hiding what they see as ephemeral discrepancies between what you see versus what is real. As long as everything is 100% perfect and there are never any latencies they can get away with hiding certain things. But when there are latencies, which is not uncommon in cloud based backing storage, users can get confused an dig themselves into a deeper hole by effecting changes based on an unsynchronized snapshot of the system state.

    At the very least, Apple should allow users to create backups of their Home configuration and be able to rollback to a previous configuration that was known to be correct. Providing or exposing this detail to users may take a little of the shine off the magic, but until Apple treats user data as user currency they are jeopardizing their customers' livelihood. Time to get serious.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 17
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,650member
    One final note: I also found that HomeKit sync between different clients, i.e., iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc., and the list of authorized devices is affected by the use of Private Relay and Find My on each of your clients devices. When I set every device that uses Home app to Private Relay ON and Find My (device) ON, everything works much better. Since some of my devices are not compatible with private relay I’d have to say that the Find My setting is what is making the difference. 
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