While the HomePod delivers the impressive audio quality, it hasn’t quite enjoyed the widespread success of competing smart speakers like the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo. And now, things have just gotten worse now that Apple’s iOS 13.2 patch has reportedly started bricking HomePods.
iOS 13.2 and audioOS (the OS that Apple uses on the HomePod) was released yesterday shortly after Apple announced its new AirPods Pro, which prompted many users to update their devices. Unfortunately, following the update, multiple users on Reddit, Twitter, the MacRumors forums, and other places started running into issues their HomePods.
The problem for Apple seems to have multiple layers, because, alongside the software updates, Apple Music also went offline temporarily. This caused users to try to unpair or reset their HomePods, only for the HomePod to get stuck in an infinite boot loop, with the HomePod reportedly showing a spinning while disk instead of the normal multicolored pattern seen in the picture above.
Meanwhile, other users reported that simply updating their device to the latest version of audioOS was enough to make their HomePods unusable. Apple has since pulled all of its recent software to prevent users from updating their devices, and now, any attempt to install the update will simply time out.
On Reddit, a megathread in the HomePod subreddit advises anyone who did update their device not to unpair or reset their HomePod, and if you downloaded the update but haven’t installed it yet, you’ll want to hold off on that too.
Currently it’s unclear how Apple is officially responding to reports of bricked HomePods, though one user did mention that Apple Support did reach out in an effort to replace their broken HomePod with a new device. We reached out to Apple for an official statement, and will provide an update if we hear back.
However, the bigger worry for Apple users is that between numerous issues with macOS Catalina and new problems iOS 13.2 and audioOS, upgrading the software on your Apple devices shortly after release is becoming an increasingly risky proposition.
[Update 10/31] Apple has re-released the most recent iOS update (now version 13.2.1), which includes upgrades for the HomePod like music hand off, HomeKit scenes, and sleep timers, along with a fix for previously bricked HomePods.