Apple launches 16.3.1 updates for HomePod and Apple TV with bug fixes and stability improvements

These minor updates for the Apple TV and HomePod models include unspecified general performance and stability improvements in the tvOS operating system.

Apple publicly released the minor iOS 16.3.1 update for its Apple TV lineup of set-top boxes, as well as the first and second-generation HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers, on Monday, February 6, 2023.

What’s new in iOS 16.3.1 for Apple TV and HomePod?

Blue HomePod mini on a white table
Image: James Yarema/Unspolash

The updates bump up the build number to 20K661. As mentioned, the 16.3.1 update is available for the original HomePod, the Apple TV HD and all generations of the Apple TV 4K. Release notes accompanying them are vague, only mentioning that “software version 16.3.1 includes general performance and stability improvements.”

The same one-line changelog is available on Apple’s website.

The updates don’t seem to include any emergency fixes for zero-day exploits or patches for major vulnerabilities. The support document on Apple’s website that lists the security contents of iOS 16.3.1 makes no mention of any security patches.

How to install iOS 16.3.1 on HomePod

You can install the latest HomePod software by choosing the software update option in the home settings of the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

  1. Open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  2. Hit the … (ellipsis) icon in the top-right corner and choose Home Settings.
  3. Select Software Update from the list.
  4. Click Update to download and install iOS 16.3.1.

Don’t unplug your HomePod while the update is being installed. When a white light on the top of your HomePod stops spinning, the installation has been completed and you can start using your smart speaker again.

How to update your Apple TV to tvOS 16.3.1

Apple TV sitting underneath a huge Samsung smart TV
Image: Brandon Romanchuk/Unsplash

You can update your Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K to the latest version of the tvOS software by choosing the software update option in the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Choose System from the root list.
  3. Select the Software Updates entry.
  4. Click the Update Software option.
  5. Click Download and Install.

After your Apple TV downloads the latest tvOS update, it will restart to prepare the update, then install it. Don’t unplug the device when the update is being installed. When the update is complete, the Apple TV will automatically restart again.