Apple's new HomeKit architecture is a major overhaul under the hood of the company's Apple Home smart home platform. Apple says it will "improve the performance and reliability of the accessories in your home." First announced at WWDC, this new foundation for Apple's smart home is part of the company's support for the Matter smart home standard. After a false start late last year when the option to upgrade to the new architecture was released with iOS 16.2, but was quickly pulled after multiple user complaints, Apple is trying again. With iOS 16.4, released this month, users can once again choose to enable the new Home architecture. However, upgrading is completely optional. And if you use an iPad as your main Apple Home hub, you won't want to upgrade. iPads are no longer supported as home hubs in the new architecture, but they can continue to function as one hub if you don't upgrade. Also, if family members have older iPhones and iPads that can't upgrade to 16.4 or Apple Watches that can If you have watchOS 9.4 unused, they lose access to control the house when you update to the new architecture. However, if you're up for it and want to try out Apple's promised faster, more stable Home setup, read on. Apple has released a brand new platform for its smart home. Here's how to upgrade. Image: Apple There are several steps you need to take to prepare for the upgrade, and you won't be able to update until you complete them. Please note that only the registered owner of the Home app can perform the upgrade. The new underlying architecture for Apple Home should improve speed and reliability. Image: Apple You should be greeted with a popup that says Upgrade Home the first time you open the Home app after upgrading your devices. Tap upgrade and follow the steps. If you don't see this screen or if you click the Upgrade later option, follow these steps to start the upgrade. Once the upgrade is complete - which should only take about 30 seconds - you should notice improved response times and overall better stability from your smart home. The Upgrade Home option will disappear from Home settings. If you are experiencing issues such as a household member losing access or automations not working, try restarting all your Home hubs and see if that fixes the problem. Restarting your iPhone can also help: sign out of iCloud on your device, reboot and sign in again. Update April 20, 1PM ET: Originally published December 16, 2022. Added that the option to upgrade to the new Home architecture was temporarily removed and is now available again.
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