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The new HomeKit architecture upgrade is back

Apple released a new iOS 16.4 update yesterday. With the latest iOS update, Apple also released an update for the HomePod and HomePod mini. The update has nothing significant to offer by itself, just the usual general bug fixes. But there is one exciting update, the re-introduction of the upgraded HomeKit architecture.

Screenshot showing the new Apple HomeKit architecture update being available in the Apple Home App


The new architecture upgrade was introduced with the iOS 16.2 update in December 2022; however, it wasn’t without issues. After the upgrade, many users complained that their HomeKit devices were not working as they were supposed to.
Many users were stuck with broken, unresponsive devices in the Home app. Users also could not invite other family members to join the home.
After many user complaints, Apple pulled the option to upgrade to the new architecture.

I did not manage to upgrade to the new architecture the first time, so I can not report on my own experience with it. This time round it’s upgrade time.

HomeKit architecture is back

With the new iOS 16.4, the HomeKit architecture update is yet again available to smart home users. Apple reportedly fixed the issues causing the problems and is confident that users will not experience the same problems as before this time.

First Update, then Upgrade

Ready to upgrade to the new architecture? If you want to upgrade the HomeKit architecture for your home, you will need to update to the latest iOS 16.4
Make sure all your home home home hubs have been updated as well.
As well as updating your home hubs, you must update all the devices you will use to access the Home app.

If you have more than one Apple device linked to your iCloud account with access to your home, you will get a warning during the upgrade process. The warning will show all the devices that haven’t been updated yet.
This warning will only show the devices linked to your iCloud account. It will not include your family members’ devices, so make sure you update those devices before you proceed with the upgrade.

If you choose not to update some of your devices, you will not be able to control your home from those devices.

Screenshot showing the new HomeKit architecture upgrade Set-up screen
Warning before upgrade that you may loose control of your home on some devices that do not run the latest iOS 16.4

Upgrade time

Once you have updated all the devices, open the Home app, tap the three dots in the top right corner, and select Home Settings.
Scroll down and select Software Update, and you will see the HomeKit architecture update.

iPhone showing a screenshot with the new HomeKit architecture update option being available.
New HomeKit Architecture upgrade available in the Home app after updating the HomePod or HomePod mini software to 16.4

Tap on it and follow the on-screen instruction. After a few minutes or so, you should see the ” Home Upgrade Complete” screen. The time it will take will depend on how many devices you have. Once done, you can tap “Done” and the upgrade is completed.

Screenshots showing the HomeKit architecture upgrade process
The upgrade involves only 3 easy steps

At this point, you should wait a few minutes and give time for the home app to refresh. I got a few “No Response” messages on some of my devices for a few seconds. But after the messages disappeared, everything was working fine.

Post upgrade

After the upgrade, I found that the devices respond slightly faster than before. But it is not something you will notice unless you are really looking for it. Also, the Home app seems to load much quicker, and the device status updates faster when you open the app. So so far, the update has been working fine.

Possible issues

There are some reports that some of the matter-enabled devices may not work as intended. If that is the case, just reset the device and re-add it to your home.
At this moment I do not have any matter-enabled devices in my home yet, or at least they have not been added, so I did not have any issues for now.

I will test the new HomeKit architecture for a few days and report any issues. I will also add some Matter-enabled devices and see if there are any issues specifically with Matter-enabled devices.
After a few days I will report any problems I find.

Technology enthusiast. Anything goes when it comes to tech. I like to write about tech and help others with their tech questions.
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