Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Apple just released HomePodOS 16.3 alongside iOS and iPadOS 16.3. Most HomePod updates are fairly mundane, with various improvements and optimizations. However, this update turns on a chip that's been inside the HomePod Mini from day one. That chip can detect the humidity level and temperature of the ambient air for the room it's assigned to.
With that information, you can then create automations in the Home app to do things like control your HomeKit-connected thermostat or turn a fan that's connected to a smart plug on or off.
In order to activate the sensor, you'll need to do two things: First, install HomePodOS 16.3 on your HomePod Mini. Second, you'll need to install iOS and iPadOS 16.3 on any devices you want to see and use the readings on.
Both processes are simple, with the HomePod update taking the longest. Below I'll walk you through the steps.
1. Go to the Home app Settings page
On your iPhone or iPad, open the Home app and tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner. From there, tap Home Settings.
2. Start the software update
Scroll down and find and select Software Update from the list of options. The following screen will take a few seconds to update, but eventually you'll be presented with a prompt letting you know there's an update available for your HomePod. Tap the Update button to being the process.
Your HomePod will stop playing any music and become unresponsive during the installation process.
3. Update your iPhone or iPad
While your HomePod is updating, update your iPhone or iPad to 16.3. If you stay on 16.2, you won't be able to see or use the new temperature and humidity readings in the Home app.
Install the update by following the standard process of opening the Settings app and then going to General > Software Update.
Once your iPhone or iPad is updated, you'll be able to see the corresponding readings in the Home app. Below are a few screenshots of what the readings look like for the HomePod Mini I have in my office.
Can I turn off the temperature and humidity readings?
As far as I can tell, right now it's not currently possible to remove the temperature or humidity reading from the Home app without also removing the HomePod Mini from your home.