HomeKit hubs limited to only HomePod and Apple TV in iOS 16

Apple has re-emphasized HomeKit this year with iOS 16, bringing a completely redesigned Home app ahead of the impending launch of the Matter standard. An important aspect of HomeKit is having a home hub, which enables functions such as outdoor control, automations and more.

Apple has traditionally allowed HomePod, Apple TV, and iPad devices to serve as home hubs. However, with the release of iOS and iPadOS 16 this year, iPads are no longer supported as home hubs.

Apple’s website states that the new Home app and associated features in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 require a home hub, including home sharing and receiving Home notifications. Related to this, Apple is also clarifying what counts as a home hub, saying, “Only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs.”

This means that you must have a HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV on your home network to use HomeKit features, such as control while away from home, share access to the house, and set up automations. Tech Crtr

Apple hasn’t provided an explanation for this change, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to people who have tried relying solely on an iPad to serve as their HomeKit home hub. The idea of ​​a HomeKit hub is that it is always on and always connected to your home internet.

In reality, this is not the case for most iPad users out there. iPads go out of the house just like iPhones, and they aren’t always connected to power like an Apple TV or HomePod. For these reasons, using an Apple TV or HomePod as a HomeKit hub is a much more reliable experience than using an iPad.

More about HomeKit in iOS 16

The major HomeKit change in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 is an all-new Home app with a design that’s easier to navigate, organize, and control. This includes a new “whole house view” that shows all your rooms and accessories on one page.

Apple also continues to lay the groundwork for Matter, its upcoming cross-platform smart home standard:

Matter is a new smart home connectivity standard that allows compatible accessories to work seamlessly across platforms. With Matter, you can choose from even more compatible smart home accessories and control them with the Home app and Siri on Apple devices.

Apple says Matter support is coming “later this year.”

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