Apple clarifies that the option to upgrade iOS 16.2’s Home app will return soon

The option to upgrade the iPhone’s Home app in iOS 16.2 will return soon. Issues and problems that users reported have prompted Apple to abruptly pull the upgrade.

iPhone screenshot of an upgrade prompt in iOS 16.2's Home app, set against a colorful background
The Home app got a performance upgrade | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB
  • What’s happening? Some people are reporting that iOS 16.2’s smart home upgrade option is no longer available on their devices.
  • What care? There have been many issues with upgrading to a new Home app architecture in iOS 16.2, including unresponsive accessories.
  • What to do? Wait until Apple resolves issues and re-enables the option.

Apple stops upgrades in the iPhone’s Home app in iOS 16.2

The home upgrade option in iOS 16.2’s Home app has been removed temporarily. “We temporarily removed the option to upgrade to the new Home architecture,” acknowledges a support document on the Apple website. The option to upgrade the Home app will return “soon,” the company clarifies.

I’ve experienced no issues with the Home app or my smart home devices in iOS 16.2. Maybe Apple has only removed this option from affected devices?

As part of the transition to the new Matter smart home connectivity standard, Apple has rebuilt its Home app in iOS 16.2 around a new smart home architecture. When the user opens the Home app after upgrading to iOS 16.2, they see a banner or splash screen offering to upgrade their smart home.

Issues with iOS 16.2’s Home app

“Home now has a new underlying architecture that will improve the performance of your homes,” it promises. Even though the upgrade isn’t automatic, some people just confirmed the prompt without suspecting anything could go wrong.

But instead of more efficient communication between smart home appliances and Apple devices, users got error messages, issues and problems.

Those range from non-responsive accessories, problems with the home-sharing option, devices disappearing from the Home app, HomeKit appliances being stuck displaying an “updating” status and more.

The fact that Apple has pulled the upgrade option is a tell-tale sign that the new Home app architecture currently suffers from technical glitches.

How to fix Home app issues in iOS 16.2

If you’ve already upgraded the new architecture, you can’t revert to the previous version of the app. Otherwise, “you are unaffected by this change,” Apple clarifies.

Some of the affected people claim the problem disappeared after they removed all HomeKit bridges like HomePods and Apple TVs from the Home app, then re-added them. Doing so causes HomeKit to load factory settings, which may help resolve or at least alleviate issues for some people. Read: 5 useful smart home automations

Apple offers the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. On the invited user’s iPhone or iPad running iOS or iPadOS version 16.2, open the Home app and tap the (…) three-dotted menu to see a list of homes.
  2. On the invited user’s iPhone or iPad, remove homes that don’t have accessories. Tap a home to select it, tap the (…) three-dotted menu, select Home Settings, scroll down and tap Remove Home. If the invited user has a home with accessories, contact Apple Support.
  3. Restart the invited user’s and home owner’s iPhone or iPad, and restart all Apple TV and HomePod devices in the home.
  4. On the home owner’s iPhone or iPad, open the Home app and remove any pending invitations to the invited user. Tap the (…) three-dotted menu, select Home Settings, tap the guest’s name, and tap Cancel Invitation.
  5. Resend the invitation to share control of the home to the invited user.

Make sure the invited user accepts the invitation within 3 hours or the invitation expires. If the invitation expires, complete steps 3-5 again.