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tvOS 16.3 brings these features to Apple TV and HomePod

Published Jan 24th, 2023 1:10PM EST
HomePod 2 tvOS 17
Image: Apple Inc.

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tvOS 16.3 is now available alongside updates to the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. While tvOS 16.1 and tvOS 16.2 brought several new features to Apple TV users, this one is focused on HomePod models, as a new smart speaker launches next week.

Since the software available on the HomePod is a variation of tvOS, this is why the features available for Apple TVs and Apple’s smart speakers are usually combined. That said, here’s everything new.

tvOS 16.3 enables temperature and humidity sensors for HomePod mini and HomePod 2 models. Interestingly, it was already known that the HomePod mini offered these sensors. Still, they have been disabled from the start, and Apple decided to launch them now alongside a new HomePod model.

In addition, the new operating system update brings remastered ambient sounds. They are now more immersive and can be added to the Home app’s scenes, automation, and alarms.

Find My on HomePod enables users to ask Siri for the location of friends and family members if they share it with you.

In addition, tvOS 16.3 brings these features to HomePod users:

  • Recurring Home automation can be set up using just your voice;
  • Siri confirmation tone will now play to indicate when smart home requests are completed for accessories that may not visibly show a change or are located in a different room;
  • Audio tuning optimizes spoken content such as podcasts for even greater clarity on the largest HomePod models;
  • Updated volume controls on HomePod (1st gen) give you more granular adjustments at lower volumes.

Last but not least, tvOS 16.3 also brings support to the new HomePod 2. Alongside this operating system, Apple made available iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3, and macOS 13.2 to all users.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.