Apple Pulls 13.2 Update After It Bricks HomePods With Spinning White Ring Of Death

Apple yesterday announced its new AirPods Pro along with an iOS 13.2 update that adds support for the wireless earbuds. At the same time, the company also released tvOS 13.2 and the 13.2 update for the HomePod. Unfortunately, the latter update has turned into living hell for many HomePod users.

There have been numerous reports that the software update has bricked their devices, and Apple has gathered enough evidence on these widespread reports to pull the update. In one particular reddit discussion thread, this is how the general problem is described:

So the update in the beginning pretty much killed Apple Music for me, so I went to unpair it/remove from the home app. Now I have a white spinning light at the top. I have even tried the factory reset method of unplugging it for five seconds and hold till red. It doesn’t even give a prompt that it’s factory restoring and the red light just resets and white spinning again after 5 seconds

Yet another poster on the MacRumors forums described their experience, writing:

I have two HomePods with the same issue you describe after the update 13.2. HomePods both stopped responding after the update. I reset both HomePods hoping to fix the problem, but now I have a white swirl on top of both, and the install pop-up does not work on either HomePods, and I can no longer reset both HomePods because the long press on top no longer functions. Just an endless white swirl.

What’s interesting is that Apple has now updated its support document to inform customers not to perform a reset on their HomePod if they encounter problems after upgrading to iOS 13.2. HomePod owners were well-intentioned with performing the [previously] Apple-sanctioned steps to get their devices back in working order, but those same directions might have exacerbated the issue in this case. Now Apple is presenting this warning message to customers on the HomePod support page:

If your HomePod is running iOS 13.2, don’t follow these steps. If you’ve already reset or removed your HomePod from the Home app, contact Apple Support.

In other words, if you’re experiencing a white spinning ring of death on your HomePod, it looks as though you’re going to have to visit an Apple Store or ship the device off for replacement.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first widespread report of smart speaker bricking that we’ve heard of recently. Late last week, Google announced that it would be replacing Google Home devices that were bricked by an OTA update.