Apple will no longer let you use an iPad as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories starting with iOS 16, MacRumors reports. Text apparently found in iOS 16’s second developer beta by MacRumors contributing writer Steve Moser spells out 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. iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub.”
If the change goes into effect as the found text suggests, it means you’ll need to use a HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as your home hub when you upgrade to iOS 16. Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. But as MacRumors points out, the company’s iOS 16 preview webpage says that “only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs,” which to me indicates that Apple is indeed planning to remove support for iPads.
While the change might be disappointing, there is some good news on the smart home front for iOS 16. The update will include an all-new Home app with features like a new categories section and a redesigned home tab. And a later iOS 16 update will add support for Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard with broad industry support that’s set to arrive sometime this fall. That upcoming Matter support may provide a clue as to why Apple is dropping iPad home hub support: while no iPads support Thread, a smart home networking protocol used by Matter, the Apple TV 4K and the HomePod mini do.