Apple with the iOS 16.2 update introduced an updated underlying architecture for HomeKit and the Home app, but it was pulled a week after launch due to bugs and installation issues. At the time, Apple said the removal was temporary and that the upgrade option would “return soon.”
It seems that Apple is almost ready to reintroduce the updated Home architecture, as the backend code indicates that Apple is preparing a “version 2” and testing it internally.
Other than saying the architecture would be made available “soon,” Apple hasn’t given any timing. We expect an iOS 16.4 beta to follow the launch of iOS 16.3, and it’s likely that the architecture update will appear in that beta. Right now we don’t know when the beta will come, but it could be as early as this week.
With the launch of the second generation HomePod, Apple mentioned that the Sound Recognition feature coming in a spring update would require the revamped Home architecture, but we could see the architecture update ahead of when Sound Recognition is released.
Apple says the update improves the reliability and efficiency of communication between smart home accessories and Apple devices, something Apple has been working on since iOS 16 was announced at WWDC in June 2022.
The first release of the new Home architecture caused some HomeKit devices to disappear from HomeKit setups or to get stuck with a “configuring/updating” status. It also resulted in home sharing invitations failing and broke HomeKit secure video recording for some.
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