HomePod beta versions will be available to all users starting next month.

iOS 16 beta 2 makes several changes to the system, and interestingly, it also adds a new menu for managing the HomePod beta software in the Home app.

The menu is hidden by default and only appears when the user installs a HomePod beta profile. This way, users can easily choose which of their HomePods will receive beta software updates. Previously, we had to configure the beta profile for each speaker in the house.

To choose which HomePods will receive the beta software, we just need to enable the switch related to the smart speaker. After that, the selected HomePod will start receiving beta updates released by Apple.

The new menu arrives ahead of the new beta releases coming to the Apple Beta Software Program next month, which will include beta software for HomePod for the first time. At the moment, the only way to install beta software on HomePod is to be invited through the AppleSeed program. Even developers can’t install beta software right now.

Interestingly, only HomePod minis appear in the new menu. Perhaps this is because the original model cannot be restored on a Mac if there are problems with the update. This suggests that the public beta for the smart speaker will not be available for the original model.

New HomePod

According to recent rumours, Apple has been working on a new HomePod model that is expected to be released between late 2022 and early 2023. Additionally, references to an unreleased model of the smart speaker were found in the iOS 16 code, fueling these rumours.

There are currently no details on the new HomePod, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the new model will be an incremental update of the current mini model.

Finally, a few months ago Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple has been experimenting with HomePod prototypes combined with Apple TV in one product. However, it appears that this product is far from ready for the market.

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