Apple HomePod’s Latest Software Update Is Bricking Devices

Posted on October 29, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 30 Comments

Apple released iOS 13.2 on Monday with new features for the HomePod. The newest update to the HomePod actually introduced some useful features like multi-user support, letting the HomePod distinguish between the different voices in your house.

The latest update, however, is causing a major problem for some users. Reports around the web are claiming that the latest HomePod update is bricking the device for some people, rendering the speaker completely useless for some.

MacRumors reports that users are seeing and endless “white swirl” on the HomePod after installing the latest update. The issue prevents users from using the device completely, including being able to access Siri, or even reset the speaker in some cases:

I have two HomePods with the same issue you describe after the update 13.2. HomePods both stopped responding after the update. I reset both HomePods hoping to fix the problem, but now I have a white swirl on top of both, and the install pop-up does not work on either HomePods, and I can no longer reset both HomePods because the long press on top no longer functions. Just an endless white swirl. I will wait a while to see if others have similar issues before contacting Apple support.

The update didn’t completely brick the HomePod right after installing the latest update for some users, but it instead broke certain functionalities, and when users tried to reset their device, the process resulted in a bricked device.

Apple is yet to acknowledge the problem officially, but this is just another broken software update from the company that’s led to major problems for users. Apple recently shipped similar updates to users with major security problems, and this new HomePod update is just the latest software update to cause problems for users.

Update: Apple has now pulled the update from the HomePod, and it’s also called warning users against resetting HomePods with the latest update installer.

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Comments (30)

30 responses to “Apple HomePod’s Latest Software Update Is Bricking Devices”

  1. bob_shutts

    This issue has upset all three HomePod users.

  2. MikeGalos

    Realistically, expect this to be fixed very quickly. About the only way this kind of thing could happen is a process problem where what got pushed out to the users was a broken image. Even Apple's test teams aren't that incompetent although I'd have said their process control system couldn't have been that broken, either.

    The real question will be how they fix the HomePods they already bricked.

  3. robinwilson16

    I am also seeing a general decrease in quality and it can be really frustrating.

    Use a product at work that used to be supported by a small team that really cared about the product. After being purchased by a large organisation, support options have become much more complicated with different tiers where everything must be escalated and triaged and other important-sounding words and bugs go unfixed as no-one cares. Documentation points to a government website that was discontinued over a year ago. Just trying to help someone paying a water bill yesterday as that site had bugs in it and then blamed the user when it was the site at fault. It's like basic testing has gone out of the window.

  4. nbplopes

    In terms of functional robustness of major software releases, by now it’s clear that this year was worst in a decade. This across all Apple OSs. Generating the most waste of Internet bandwidth and users time and experience.

    Apple, I can find cheaper And more flexible solutions for this kind of quality. Hope you have taken the pills as it seams you have caught a bug.

  5. Jeffsters

    Apple needs to public beta test Watch OS and HomePod OS like they do iOS, MacOS, and TV OS. My three HomePods, thankfully updated without incident, but this is embarrassing and while I’m sure it will be fixed quickly with replacements provided, it’s just not what we expect. I do however expect some new open positions in Cupertino!

  6. warren

    Found this comment on MacRumors which highlights the problem Apple is facing here:

    "All 9 of my HomePods are dead. This might be the straw that makes me defect to Microsoft. Where do you even begin in discussing a software update bricking $3,000 in speakers and they offer a certified replacement unit because of their foul up? This is a new record low in my opinion and might move to Sonos if this is what they deem as acceptable. Singlehandledly 5 hours ago turned my smart home into a brick."

    • ghostrider

      In reply to warren:

      Why on earth would you defect to Microsoft, with it's equally appalling track record? MS also wouldn't be a good choice if you wanted smart speakers either - Invoke crashed and burned pretty much immediately on release, and nothing since or likely (Cortana is now a hobo, walking the streets alone and hiding in dark corners!)

  7. dontbeevil

    the famous apple quality

  8. Lordbaal

    First this, next is the iPhone 5.

  9. red.radar

    (Face palm).... this is an industry wide problem. A sign that quality testing is not thorough enough. Either through insufficient test cases or lack of test bed diversity. Seems like all the major platform vendors are having issues after major releases.

    Let’s not harp too badly on apple... Microsoft hardly gets it right either. Last I checked ... Pixel 4 had an update issue and there have been others.

    I can see the release meeting notes now. We found one issue but can’t reproduce. PM says “ ok we can download software updates and it was a one off” push the release... yay we met our project metrics .... oh wait

    when you push updates to millions of devices PPM level defects are a big risk in the age of social outrage

    • Aurand

      In reply to red.radar:

      How much diversity would they need for these though? There are no user settings or additional applications that can be installed. There is one hardware version, unless the color matters.

      Maybe some issues with the network it’s connected to.

  10. PeterC

    Oh dear, they’re not having a great time since iOS 13 are they.

  11. lvthunder

    Apple is not the only company bricking their smart speaker. Google shipped an update that's doing the same thing, but I guess it's easier for you to just dump on Apple.

  12. MikeGalos

    Pretty bad when you ship software with a device-specific, severity 1 bug when that software only works on one device that you manufacture.

    Imagine what Apple's software reliability would be like if they actually supported 3rd party hardware or connecting to other ecosystems.

    • Jeffsters

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Like MS when they Bricked laptops back in may with a Win10 update? You mean like that?

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to Jeffsters:

        You mean when they bricked 100% of their own product?

        Oh, wait. That didn't happen.

        The world's a lot harder when you have hundreds of millions of configurations to test than when you have ONE and you still blow it.

        • Jeffsters

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          As i said above, my three updated fine, so at least say 99%

          • MikeGalos

            In reply to Jeffsters:

            Nice to hear. When I wrote that it'd had been 100% so at least it's not quite as bad as it seemed. Any idea what the difference was?

            • Jeffsters

              In reply to MikeGalos:

              My understanding is those who first upgraded their iOS device to13.2 and then ran the 13.2 Home Pod update were fine. If the update was applied from a non-13.0 or 13.1 device it could result in the condition described.

        • nbplopes

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Yes. It’s a lot harder especially when MS can’t get it right even in their own product lines such as the Surface.

          Not to mention when they used brick even their own consoles.

          Silly boy :)

          • MikeGalos

            In reply to nbplopes:

            I was talking about software but if you mean a hardware problem then let's compare the RROD that was fixed in the next version after the problem was spotted. And then let's compare that with "your holding it wrong" antennagate or bendgate or the three separate keyboard generations on MacBooks that are finally being fixed by going back to the five year old design or the "Can't innovate, my ass" Mac Pro that was abandoned and still hasn't been replaced years after the architectural flaws made the design unsupportable.

  13. Jeffsters

    13.2.1 for Home Pod is out!