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Apple has ‘temporarily’ pulled a major iOS 16.2 feature

Friday December 23, 2022. 03:18 AM , from Macworld Reviews
Update 12/27: Added a statement from Apple about the issue.

When iOS 16.2 arrived last week, it brought several new features, including Apple Music Sing, iCloud Advanced Data Protection, and the Freeform app, as well as a less-obvious upgrade to a new Home architecture that’s “more reliable and efficient.” However, about a week later, it appears that Apple has pulled the option in the Home app to upgrade.

When opening the Home app in iOS 16.2, users were met with a “Home Upgrade Available” in the Software Update tab in the Home Settings. Now that option is gone. A support document outlining the new feature still says the option has been “temporarily removed” and doesn’t affect users who have already updated to the new architecture. In a statement, Apple said it is “aware of an issue that may impact the ability for users to share the Home within the Home app.”

As noted by MacRumors, several users reported devices that were stuck in an “updating” or “configuring” status, as well as missing devices. Apple warns that any connected devices that aren’t using the latest software “will lose access to the upgraded home until they’re updated,” but this appears to be an unrelated issue. Apple hasn’t detailed what the issue is, only that the option to upgrade will return soon. It’s not clear whether it will randomly appear in the app or as part of the iOS 16.3 update expected to arrive early next year.

The new Home architecture requires a home hub such as Apple TV (4th generation or later) or HomePod to use advanced features such as HomeKit Secure Video and Adaptive Lighting. Anyone who was using an iPad as a home hub under the previous architecture will need to switch to one of those devices to continue using the Home app to control their devices.

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