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Users say Apple's beta 15 software update is making their HomePods overheat

Apple HomePod Mini
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's latest AppleSeed beta software update for its HomePod is causing issues such as overheating and even powering down as a result of the heat it is generating, according to a new Reddit thread (opens in new tab)

In case you don't know what all of that means, let's backtrack and explain the terminology. For its iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Macs and Apple Watches, Apple offers both developer betas and public betas, thus allowing users to trial upcoming new software features ahead of their release. This is not the case for HomePod, however. Here, the Cupertino giant creates an AppleSeed beta – available to invited users only – allowing them to test updates within its new HomePod software before a wider rollout.

And it is this particular HomePod software beta that is apparently causing a variety of problems for users, including hardware failures, "frying" and more… 

The author of the original post on Reddit states, "I advise to unplug any one of your HomePods that are hot on top leading to your logic board failing or have the issue on audio OS 15 where Siri can’t pause music when it is playing music, touching the top will only skip it."

As noted by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), one of the most common complaints on the thread is the HomePod getting abnormally hot when running the new beta. Why would anyone try to snap up early access an update such as this – one more guarded even than developer testing software and that the general public is emphatically not supposed to have? It's highly likely that HomePod owners were hoping to get the promised Apple Music Lossless Audio support for HomePod (natively, not just using AirPlay from your iPhone) with the new beta, rather than these alarming issues. 

Even though the HomePod and HomePod mini betas are meant only for Apple's invited register of testers, the tools necessary to install them can of course be hunted down online – which means HomePod owners who aren’t on the AppleSeed testing program shortlist have managed to install the HomePod beta firmware. And it is virtually impossible to reverse the update, once installed.

The moral of the story – as expressed in several comments in the thread? One should not install betas one is not supposed to, particularly those for Apple's HomePod. We did not try to test the update ourselves, because the HomePod (although officially discontinued by Apple in March) remains one of the best-sounding smart speakers on the market, and we don't want to compromise that. 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.