Apple HomePod 15 software update will bring big changes

(Pocket-lint) – Though Apple positively ignored the smart home in its most recent September event, it appears to be on the verge of delivering a significant software update for the HomePod and HomePod mini.

That’s according to MacRumors, who suggest the HomePod 15 software update, briefly hinted at during WWDC21, is now being prepared for arrival from next week – perhaps alongside iOS 15 and watchOS 8 on 20 September.

Per information gleaned from the Release Candidate version of HomePod 15, the outlet suggests that the update will be available for both HomePod and HomePod mini, and, apart from the usual bug fixes and stability improvements, there’s plenty of change. 

The headline feature coming to the company’s smaller smart speakers is the ability to set a single or pair as the default speaker for Apple TV 4K, meaning you won’t have to manually bypass your TV’s own speakers when you sit down to watch something.

With the update, users will have the ability to use Siri to turn on Apple TV, make movie and TV show requests and control playback, too, with the voice assistant now also able to adjust its response volume based on the room environment and speaking level of the user.

It’s not just TV-related updates that Apple is bringing to its smart speakers, either. Media playback controls will now appear automatically in the iPhone lock screen when a HomePod mini is playing nearby, while users can now tweak the bass level.

HomePod devices will be getting a bit smarter in the actual home control, as well. With HomePod 15, Siri will be able to control smart home devices at specific times (like turning off lights in 10 minutes, MacRumors say), with voice control also being extended to compatible HomeKit accessories.

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For those who use HomeKit Secure Video on their smart security cameras, the new update will also bring with it package detection, helping you quickly identify when a parcel is and is no longer at your door.

So, in short, the HomePod update is fairly substantial – and that can only be a good thing for an area Apple has neglected somewhat in recent years.

However, that doesn’t mean the final version will be landing with all the features Apple initially offered to beta testers, with Apple Music Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos not rolling out with HomePod 15. 

The company has previously stated that these audio features will land on HomePod devices before the end of the year, though, so expect them in one of the smaller releases to the new software update.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on .

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