Apple may be bringing a new Home app to iOS 16, but it’s not all good news: Apple has confirmed that the iPad will no longer serve as a home hub when the update arrives this fall.
When setting up an Apple-based smart home, you can choose a central hub that stays in the house at all times: it receives commands, sends notifications, controls automations, and generally tells the other components what to do. In the past, the hub could be an Apple TV, a HomePod, or an iPad, but as of the launch of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 this fall, only the HomePod and Apple TV will work.
Which was first noted in the iOS footnotes by Tech Crtr on Twitter has now been confirmed by Macrumors, who discovered the following message in the latest iOS 16 developer beta:
A home hub is required to take advantage of features such as receiving accessory notifications and allowing other people to control your home. You won’t be able to view shared homes until those homes have also been upgraded to the latest HomeKit. iPad is no longer supported as a home hub.
This change is not that surprising. The iPad has always been an odd addition, as it had to be plugged in to really work as a hub. Throwing your iPad in a bag and taking it on the train without a second thought could prevent automations from running and could hinder your family from having to manually turn the lights on – or worse, depending on how deep your smart home integration is. go.
So now it’s just Apple TV or HomePod, both living room devices. Apple hasn’t exactly set the smart home world on fire, but perhaps this is a sign that Apple wants to make serious changes to the way things work. There are rumors of a new HomePod with a screen and a cheaper Apple TV, so this small change could lead to much bigger things.