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Be careful: Apple’s latest software update is bricking some HomePods

July 8th, 2021 at 5:35 PM
Apple HomePod

Apple’s recent 14.6 update is causing all sorts of problems. If you recall, the iOS 14.6 software update is affecting iPhone battery life. Some users have said that their iPhone will go from a full charge to 30% with barely any use. And now comes word that the recent 14.6 update is causing problems for Apple’s HomePod as well.

Owners of Apple’s HomePod have taken to online forums like Reddit to air out their complaints. One owner, who has an astounding 19 HomePods for some reason, said that seven of them are no longer working.

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What are the HomePod update problems?

The update isn’t causing playback issues but is rather bricking HomePods and rendering them useless. The owner of the 19 HomePods, for instance, relayed the following on a Reddit thread:

Either there is a massive problem with the OS or something in the hardware is built wrong. Unfortunately, all of them are out of warranty and I won’t be buying any new ones because I assume that every HomePod will break sooner or later.

What’s especially concerning is that the issue isn’t arising with beta software. Instead, a seemingly stable and run-of-the-mill software update is causing all sorts of issues. Another user said that when he updated to 14.6, one of his HomePods just stopped working immediately.

“When it’s plugged in, doesn’t power up – the top doesn’t light up or respond to touch,” the HomePod owner explained. Other owners chimed in and said that their speakers can power on, but won’t connect in stereo pair or even play on their own.

One HomePod owner noted: “Same problem with my stereo pair, although the one HomePod didn’t just ‘die’ – it became unresponsive with constant flashing volume buttons. Same result, though.”

Apple’s solution for the HomePod update problem?

It’s not clear how widespread the issue is, but what is clear is that Apple isn’t being entirely helpful. Compounding matters is that Apple discontinued the original HomePod back in March. In other words, there’s no reason to believe that the issue is something of a top priority for the company.

To this point, one frustrated HomePod owner said he walked into an Apple retail store and was advised “to pay almost full price to replace an abandoned product” because the warranty had expired. That’s certainly not the level of customer support Apple is typically praised for. Forcing a user to pay upwards of $300 for a HomePod replacement when a software update from Apple is the culprit is preposterous.

What an Apple technician advises

Apple hasn’t acknowledged the issue just yet, but one Redditor relayed the following advice from a senior Apple technician. Note, though, that he’s running a beta HomePod update.

They suggested I make a post with the info he said. “I would tell your friends if they have installed OS15 beta on one or both of their HomePods and having issues to unplug them and not use them until next software update comes out to avoid damage to the logic board. In result of damaging your HomePod. If your HomePod has failed due to the developer beta profile being installed which in that case apple can not be held liable to fix the HomePods due to non licensed developer people installing this software, but suggest if your HomePod has in fact failed and you are a licensed developer you are urged to contact apple developer team for further assistance.”

The advice above naturally isn’t for everyone. The main takeaway is that if all of your devices are working fine, avoid downloading Apple’s recent software updates for the time being. Hopefully, Apple will have a solution for the HomePod update problem soon.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.




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