Did the homepod OS 15 update break anyone else’s automations? Specifically, the getting the brightness of a light gives bad results.

Cupertino, October 5, 2021

I updated one of my HomePod minis to OS 15, and now one of my most-used shortcut automations doesn’t work. I did some troubleshooting, and it turns out that using the HPM to get the brightness of a light and then using greater than / less than logic on that number no longer works.

But it works properly if the shortcut is being run through in the device test window.

I have it simply get the light brightness, and if it’s less than 12%, turn a different light green, otherwise turn that light red. Then pause for 5 seconds, then turn the light blue (my reset color in this example).

Running the shortcut on the HPM turns the light green, which is incorrect. Without changing anything else and running it in the builder interface on my iPad, it turns red (which is correct).

Anyway, I haven’t run a full set of diagnostic tests to tell off when the shortcut automation runs on the HPM, whether the getting of the brightness is failing, or if the comparison logic is failing. But it runs fine on the iPad inside the home app.

I tested an iPad running the 15.1 beta as the home hub, and it runs the shortcut properly if it is running inside the home hub framework. However, if I try to run the same thing in the HomeKit shortcut builder /tester , I found another error that apparently exists in the code for that. It apparently does not know that the brightness of a light that is off is equal to zero. Or maybe it is comparing a decimal value to a binary value. Whatever it is, the 15.1 beta 1 shortcut builder thinks a light that is off has a brightness greater than 1 but not greater than 2.

It also acts as if the brightness (of the light that is off) is greater than or equal to both one and two. But it is not greater than or equal to 3. So in integer space, the brightness of a light that is off might be registering as 2. This is on 15.1 beta 1, and it looks like it goes as far back as 14.3 (in the shortcut builder).

Anyway, it looks like Apple is putting the interns on the HomeKit development team, and they’re using the ones that haven’t studied data types yet maybe.

Unfortunately, the 15.0 update to the one HomePod mini made alarms and timers stop working on the 14.x HomePod mini, even when the 15.0 HPM is unplugged.

It would be nice if these bugs could be used for a jailbreak. But I doubt it.

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