Update 12/27: Added a statement from Apple on this issue.
when iOS 16.2 Arrived last week, it has brought several new features, including Apple Music SingAnd the iCloud Advanced Data Protectionand the free form application, as well as a less obvious upgrade to a new, “more reliable and efficient” home architecture. However, after about a week, it appears that Apple has withdrawn the option in the Home app to upgrade.
When opening the Home app in iOS 16.2, users were met with “Home Upgrade Available” in the Software Update tab of Home Settings. Now that option is gone. a support document Selecting the new feature says that the option has been “temporarily removed” and does not affect users who have already updated to the new build. In a statement, Apple said it was “aware of an issue that may affect users’ ability to share a Home within the Home app.”
As noted before Mac rumorsSeveral users reported devices stuck in the Update or Configuration state, as well as missing devices. Apple warns that any connected devices that aren’t running the latest software will “lose access to the upgraded home page until they’re updated,” but that appears to be an unrelated issue. Apple has not detailed what the problem is, but the upgrade option will be back soon. It is not clear if it will appear randomly in the app or as part of the iOS 16.3 update that is expected to arrive early next year.
The new home architecture requires a home hub such as an Apple TV (4th generation or later) or HomePod to use advanced features like HomeKit Secure Video and Adaptive Lighting. Anyone who was using an iPad as a home hub under the previous build will need to switch to one of these devices to continue using the Home app to control their devices.