iPads may lose their smart home hub powers in iOS 16
Text found in the iOS 16 beta code indicates that Apple is removing support for the iPad home hub.
Apple will no longer allow you to use an iPad as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories starting in iOS 16, MacRumors reports. Text apparently found in the second developer beta of iOS 16 by MacRumors contributing writer Steve Moser explains the change.
"A home hub is required to take advantage of features like receiving accessory notifications and allowing other people to control your home," text in the Home app reportedly reads. "You will not be able to view shared homes until those homes are also upgraded to the latest HomeKit. Additionally, iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub."
If the change takes effect as the found text suggests, it means you'll need to use a HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as the hub of your home when you update to iOS 16. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But as MacRumors points out, the company's iOS 16 preview webpage says "only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs," indicating that Apple is planning to drop support for iPads.
While the change may be disappointing, there is some good news on the smart home front for iOS 16. The update will include an entirely new Home app with features like a new Categories section and a redesigned Home tab. And a later update to iOS 16 will add support for Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, with broad industry support coming sometime this fall. Matter's upcoming support may explain why Apple is removing home hub support for iPad: While no iPad supports Thread, a smart home networking protocol used by Matter, the Apple TV 4K and HomePod mini, Yes they are.