HomeKit architecture upgrade expected to return in iOS 16.4

in iOS
The new HomeKit architecture saga rolls on, as code discovered in public smart home standards suggests that the new Homekit architecture will return in iOS 16.4 at some point.

HomeKit architecture upgrade returning in iOS 16.4
HomeKit architecture upgrade returning in iOS 16.4

Users that attempted to upgrade their HomeKit architecture as soon as iOS 16.2 dropped ran into some issues. Devices disappeared or stopped functioning, and users could not undo this upgrade action.

Apple pulled the update after widespread complaints about HomeKit problems, and signs have shown its inevitable return. Now, new information has provided a release window for the feature.

Apple is apparently gearing up to roll out its HomeKit architecture update to users in iOS 16.4. It isn't clear if this is a new version of the update or a bug fix, but those who performed the update before are still stuck in a subpar experience.

GitHub user Nicolas Alvarez discovered code in the Connected Home over IP GitHub that references iOS 16.4 as Apple's new target for the HomeKit architecture update. MacRumors was able to confirm the validity of the code and the referenced feature release.

While the timetable appears likely, this code has been updated before. These strings previously had the iOS 16.2 notation, and there were signs that it would reappear in iOS 16.3, as we've already discussed.

The new beta cycle for iOS 16.4 has been notably absent for over two weeks, a rare gap in testing for Apple.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 4
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,549member
    Has Apple published any technical papers that describe the architectural changes that are coming to HomeKit?

    I’m a lot less nervous about the new architectural rollout than I was a couple of weeks ago only because I feel some level of confidence that I can rebuild my small Home fairly quickly even if it gets totally borked. I’m going to keep treating HomeKit more like a beta or experimental feature until it gets a lot more miles on it. 

    I'm confident that Matter is the backbone of future home device management and home automation. But it’s still immature and cross vendor device interoperability is still evolving. How Apple intends to play in this evolving ecosystem is very much TBD. They haven’t really shown their cards in terms of how they will map Matter-isms into Apple products. 

    As “interesting” as it is to see Apple expose temperature and humidity sensors in HomePods, from a system perspective it is a bit strange and goofy, or what is considered a “Winnebago” implementation. A classic example of an Apple Winnebago was iTunes. It kept rolling in new features until it became an unholy mess and had to be blown up. Resilient systems tend to follow a single responsibility pattern where each component has a singular or highly coherent set of responsibilities. If the HomePod uses temperature and humidity for its audio processing, that’s all fine and good. By exposing these sensors at a system level for consumption by other system components and automation to use in combination with logic raises the possibility that the loss of a speaker/microphone, whose job is produce audio and accept voice based inquiries, also wipes out your temperature and humidity sensors. Does this make sense?

    These system design concerns may not be important for some home users, but it tells me that Apple is in no rush to move too far away from their product-oriented mindset. As we’ve seen before, when Apple tries to move from a product-centric approach to a system-centric approach there are a lot of bumps along the road. We’ve seen this with Photos, Music, iCloud, and now the Home app and its need for architectural changes. This is the basis of my hesitation to commit to HomeKit and stick with my current system that works reliably and follows patterns based on system thinking. If or when Apple turns the corner I’ll be ready to upgrade. 
  • Reply 2 of 4
    I had to rebuild HomeKit after the 16.2 release messed up my security cameras and caused a few other reliability issues. Everything is working fine now though. So if 16.4 does include the new HomeKit architecture I'll be waiting at least a few days and checking here on AI to hear how it is going for others before I jump in. 
  • Reply 3 of 4
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,903member
    I didn't have any issues with 16.2, but in the interim I have received and installed two Meross MSS115 Smart Plugs with Matter. I'll be curious to see what happens since these brand new products have not been very easy to install. Right out of the box they would not show up on the Meross app or Home App. After rebooting everything in the house I eventually got them installed, only to see them listed as "not responding" a few hours later. More fiddling, uninstalling, rebooting ad infinitum and finally they are working and show up correctly. How long this will last and how the looming 16.4 update will impact them is to be determined I guess. Homekit in general, does not impress.

    edited February 2023 laytech
  • Reply 4 of 4
    laytechlaytech Posts: 339member
    I am looking forward to the new architecture in the hope it makes HomeKit faster more reliable with HomeKit devices. They took will need to update their firmware I believe but any improvements to reliability and connectivity and speed, is greatly appreciated.
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