Apple released iOS 16, iPadOS 16 systems, and has released the first developer preview Beta. As part of its rebuilt Home app experience in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, Apple appears to be removing support for using an iPad as a Home Hub.
For Home Hub, the HomeKit framework allows for remote control of compatible smart home devices, but some features (like location-based automation) require a designated Home Hub, which stays supported and connected at home when you’re away.
For example, with the Home Hub, some thermostats can use virtual geographic boundaries (geofencing) to change the temperature to a more economical one when you’re away from home. Home Hub also lets you use Siri to trigger actions when you’re away from home.
In iOS 15, Apple allowed Apple TV, HomePod or iPad to be designated as Home Hub, but in iOS 16, which is currently in beta testing, “only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as Home Hub,” Apple’s iOS 16 preview page reads road.
Despite this change, it should be noted that iPadOS 16 Beta 1 still allows the designation of an iPad as a Home Hub. However, given Apple’s iOS 16 marketing page and the interface description in iPadOS 16, it’s likely that the feature will be removed in a later version of the software.
Apple hasn’t explained why the iPad was removed from the list of compatible Home Hub devices in iOS 16, but it could be related to Apple’s announcement that HomeKit will support the upcoming Matter cross-platform compatible smart home standard.
The matter will allow HomeKit users to integrate more categories of IoT devices into their smart homes and control them through the Home app and using Siri. The matter will be released later this year, which is likely to be when iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and tvOS 16 are officially released to the public this fall.