With iOS 15, HomePod gets several new features like creating a stereo pair from two HomePod minis, controlling media playback on your Apple TV with Siri on your HomePod and much more. Here’s everything new, enhanced and improved in HomePod Software version 15.
- A new software update for the HomePod speakers is available
- Apple calls this update “HomePod Software version 15”
- Lossless and spatial audio support didn’t make the cut
Everything new in HomePod Software version 15
Apart from the usual bug fixes and under-the-hood tweaks, HomePod Software version 15 brings several new features for Apple’s full-size but discontinued HomePod speaker as well as the current $99 HomePod mini.
HomePod Software version 15 finally adds the ability for two HomePod mini speakers to work as a single, stereo-like pair which can then be set as the home theater speakers for your Apple TV 4K. Previously limited to the full-size HomePod, this feature now works on the HomePod mini as well.
You can also control media playback on your Apple TV using Siri on your HomePod. Now when you sit down to watch something, you can use Siri on HomePod to request a specific TV show or movie to be played, as well as control playback.
Speaking of voice assistants, HomePod Software version 15 improves Apple’s digital assistant which now automatically adjusts its speaking level based on the room environment and volume of your own voice.
Another cool tidbit that takes advantage of proximity information will prompt your iPhone to automatically display media playback controls when a HomePod mini that’s playing music happens to be nearby (within Bluetooth range). Media controls now include bass control that lets you adjust the bass level of your HomePod. Neither of those features was available before today.
The remaining new features take advantage of Apple’s improvements for HomeKit, its software framework powering smart home devices. For instance, Apple said that it will permit makers of HomeKit appliances to add “Hey Siri” functionality, with voice requests being relayed to an Apple TV or HomePod.
Well, HomePod Software version 14 brings Siri voice control to compatible HomeKit accessories. Moreover, Siri on HomePod now supports the ability to control smart devices at a specific time, like turning off the lights in ten minutes. And last but not least, HomePod Software version 14 adds support for package detection with HomeKit Secure Video
Release notes for HomePod Software version 15
Read Apple’s official release notes highlighting the major improvements in HomePod Software versions 15:
- Select a single or pair of HomePod mini as the default speakers for your Apple TV 4k for rich room-filling sound and clear dialogue
- Media playback controls automatically appear on your iPhone’s Lock Screen when a HomePod mini
playing music is nearby
- Set a lower bass level to enjoy music without disturbing the neighbors
- Ask Siri to turn on your Apple TV, start playing a favorite movie, and control playback while you watch
- Siri automatically adjusts its speaking level based on the room environment and volume of the user
- Ask Siri to control smart home devices at a specific time like turning off the lights in 10 minutes
- Extend access to HomePod throughout your home by enabling Siri voice control on compatible HomeKit accessories
- Support for package detection with HomeKit Secure Video
Apple will provide the full release notes for HomePod Software version 15 in this support document.
What about lossless and spatial audio support?
As mentioned earlier, Apple has delayed two major Apple Music features on HomePod: the ability to listen to songs encoded with a lossless algorithm and enjoy songs encoded with Dolby Atmos in a spatialized soundscape when wearing compatible AirPods or Beats headphones.
Support for lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos on Apple Music will roll out at a later stage with point updates (HomePod Software 15.1, HomePod Software 15.2 and so forth).
How to update your HomePod
To get these new features, update your iPhone to iOS 15 or your iPad to iPadOS 15, then launch the Home app on your phone or tablet. You can also use the Home app on your Mac as long as the operating system running on the computer has been upgraded to macOS Monterey.
In the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, select “Home” in the upper-left corner. Now go to Home Settings → Software Update. If you see a message saying a new update is available, touch or click the option labeled “Install”.
Doing so will install the downloaded update on all of the HomePod speakers you have set up in your home. When your HomePod is updating, you’ll see a white spinning light on its top. The light will continue spinning until HomePod has finished updating, which may take some time.
Be sure the HomePod stays plugged in while it’s updating.