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By Malcolm McMillan published 10 June 22
iPads may no longer be supported as HomeKit hubs in iPadOS 16
In a surprising move, Apple seems to be removing support for iPads to be home hubs in iPadOS 16. Per Apple (opens in new tab) , only Apple TV and HomePod will be supported as home hubs in the latest version of the mobile operating system.
I just noticed this little tidbit in the footnotes for iOS 16, iPad’s are no longer Home Hubs from iPadOS 16, in my home app the only iPad that shows is my iPad mini which is still on iOS 15. You now need a HomePod or Apple TV if you require a home hub @followhomekit pic.twitter.com/DYq5THN63NJune 8, 2022
Twitter user Tech Crtr (opens in new tab) came across the update in the footnotes for Apple’s iOS 16 Preview (the tweet shows it as footnote 12, but Apple’s website lists it as footnote 14). If the final version of iOS 16 keeps this update after the beta phase, the only currently available devices that could serve as home hubs would be Apple TV and the HomePod mini. Apple is rumored to be working on a new HomePod version, but the full-sized smart speaker is currently discontinued — though Apple still supports it.
Two reasons come to mind regarding why this possible downgrade matters. First, obviously, Apple users that had been using their iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air or iPad Pro as their home hub likely no longer can. Additionally, they may now need to buy an Apple TV or HomePod mini if they do not already have one and still wish to use the Home app to control their smart home.
Second, this may be a sign that the rumored new HomePod for late 2022 or early 2023 is coming. It would not make a lot of sense to force customers to only two products but not offer multiple options within the product line. At this time, though, this is nothing more than an educated guess. Apple has still declined to provide any comment on a new HomePod.
Smart homes were a focus during Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote. The company has redesigned the Home app for iOS 16, iPad OS 16 and macOS Ventura. The new app should provide easier setup and management of smart home devices, and the overview feature should provide an improved user experience.
Apple is also participating in Matter, which is an interoperability standard for smart home devices. This should allow a wide range of smart home devices to work better together with the Apple Home app.
Stay tuned to Tom’s Guide for the latest updates on iOS 16 and Apple Home.
Malcolm McMillan is a News Writer for Tom's Guide. Before writing for Tom's Guide, he worked many retail jobs and many Black Fridays, including a stint for Microsoft. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. In his spare time, Malcolm is a fantasy football analyst. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.
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