Beta software is labeled “beta” for a reason. They are often distributed only to people willing to test software for bugs and are willing to take the risk using potentially unstable software. Of course, some beta versions are in a better state than others but that doesn’t remove the chance of a bad release wreaking havoc on devices. That is the unfortunate reality that owners of some HomePods are now facing after what they claim to be a rather buggy HomePod Software 15 beta caused smart speakers to overheat and, in some cases, fry the logic board beyond repair.
Apple released beta versions of its various software platforms last month when it unveiled iOS 15 coming later this year. Unlike betas for iPhones, iPads, and even Apple TVs, beta software for HomePod speakers aren’t exactly available to the general public and invite-only. It seems that it still managed to reach many users, some of whom are now experiencing multiple hardware and software problems with their HomePods.
While some of the reported issues revolve around Siri suddenly being unresponsive, all the bugs might actually be caused by a hardware problem. Most of the reports say that the speaker becomes very hot. Some HomePods automatically shut down from overheating, but other users who opened up their speakers report seeing fried logic boards.
This immediately poses a problem for affected users because Apple warranties don’t cover damages resulting from using beta software. This effectively means that those HomePods have to be repaired either through third parties or with hefty charges from authorized Apple service centers. Either way, the speakers have been transformed into large paperweights.
It is recommended that users running audio OS 15 beta on their HomePods power down their devices while waiting for a fix from Apple. Those who haven’t updated yet should probably stay away from the beta until the issue has been resolved. It should perhaps also serve as a cautionary tale when using beta software, which probably shouldn’t be installed on your primary or only device.