Apple’s upcoming iOS 16 operating system not only brings new features. According to current information, the iPad loses the function as a home hub with the update. This means if you have Apple HomeKit devices that you currently control with the iPad, this will no longer be possible after updating to iOS 16.
iOS developer Steve Moser found this out and shared it on Twitter. The info is part of a longer thread describing all changes in the new beta version of the operating system. You can see the relevant part of the thread here:
link to Twitter content
iOS or iPadOS?
To avoid confusion, in 2019, Apple forked iPadOS from iOS. Since then, iOS has only been used for iPhones. Nevertheless, the term iOS is often used synonymously with iPadOS.
Apple itself has also confirmed the change
Also on Apple’s official preview page there is a note on iOS 16 that confirms the change. Below in the small print at point 14 it says:
Requires all Apple devices accessing the home to be using the latest software. A home hub is required to share a home and receive home notifications. Only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs
The point refers to the Home app, which is described further up the page. In plain language it means that if you want to use the new features of the Home app, the operating system must be up to date. If the operating system is up to date, only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs.
This rules out the iPad as a home hub, as the changes in the operating system code make clear. But iOS also brings new features, for example you can use it to bypass annoying CAPTCHAs:
A feature was not discovered until two weeks after the beta started
Does Home Hub have to go for Matter?
Apple itself has not yet commented on why the iPad will lose its function as a home hub. A possible reason could be the Matter standard, which we have already reported on in our article about the new features of iOS 16.
Matter is a manufacturer-independent standard. This means that smart home products from Apple, IKEA, Huawei, Samsung, Google and other manufacturers can communicate with each other if they support it. With iOS 16 Apple should follow this standard. So it could be that you can continue to use the iPad as a remote control in the future, but not with the Apple Home app, but with a Matter app.
This would have the advantage that you not only have control over Apple HomeKit products with the iPad, but also over smart home products from other manufacturers that have the Matter standard. At this point, that’s pure speculation. iOS 16 is expected to be released in September this year.
Do you use your iPad as a remote control for your smart home devices? Do you have smart home devices from other manufacturers? Please let us know.