Advanced Data Protection for iCloud: Apple offers fix for this HomePod issue

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Apple has recently expanded its smart speaker lineup with the second-generation HomePod. The new HomePod comes with a similar-looking design to its predecessor, a new processor, smart home capabilities and much more. With the release of iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 (expected to release to the public soon), Apple introduced the Advanced Data Protection feature for iCloud. This feature uses end-to-end encryption to provide Apple’s highest level of cloud data security. According to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a bug may cause some issues with HomePod smart speakers when Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is enabled. The company has now published a new support document explaining what to do if users face this HomePod issue.
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud: Minimum requirements
To use this iCloud feature, all the devices logged into a particular Apple ID need to be updated with the latest software version. It is also applicable to HomePod speakers that have to run at least HomePod software 16.2.
How is the HomePod issue affecting users
Gurman claims that a bug in the Home app is preventing HomePods running older versions of the software from being updated when iCloud’s latest end-to-end encryption feature is turned on. This means users who buy a HomePod that ships with an OS older than 16.2 won’t be able to set it up. Even setting up the new HomePod will need to be updated with the latest version of the software.
How to resolve this issue
Apple’s support document explains what HomePod users can do if they face this issue. HomePod mini users can connect it to a Mac with a USB-C cable and update it through Finder (or iTunes on a PC). Select the HomePod option in the Finder sidebar and click on the Restore HomePod option. This will update the speaker to the latest software, after which users can set it up seamlessly.
Meanwhile, the first-generation HomePod (2018) and the latest HomePod (2023) aren’t equipped with a USB-C port. This is why Apple has included a fix for this issue with iOS 16.3 which is expected to be soon rolled out widely for all users.
The new version of iOS will allow the owners of these smart speakers to temporarily turn off the Advanced Data Protection to update the HomePod software. However, the company suggests users who temporarily turn off Advanced Data Protection turn it back on immediately after their HomePod software is updated. Apple has outlined the steps to turn off Advanced Data Protection in iCloud settings on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac::
Go to the Settings or System Settings option
– Tap your name, then tap iCloud.
– Scroll to Advanced Data Protection and turn off Advanced Data Protection.
– If you receive an error message when you previously tried to set up your HomePod, you may need to reset your HomePod.
– Then set up your HomePod.
– Update your HomePod to the latest software using the Home app.
– Turn on Advanced Data Protection in iCloud settings on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac the same you disabled it

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