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It looks like iPads will stop working as smart home hubs with iOS 16

, US contributing editor · ·
Rumour An unsubstantiated news story based on rumours, gossip, or hearsay that can't be verified by collaborating sources.

(Pocket-lint) - Normally software updates introduce new features. They don't take them away. But that doesn't appear to be the case with iOS 16.

Starting with the next major update to the iPhone and iPad operating systems, Apple will no longer let you use an iPad as a smart home hub to control HomeKit accessories, according to MacRumors.

It found text in iOS 16's second developer beta that describes 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 said. "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."

So, what does this mean? If you upgrade to iOS 16 (and iPadOS 16, presumably), you’ll need to use a HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as your smart home hub - rather than your iPad. 

Apple has yet to confirm this change, but the iOS 16 preview webpage now says "only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs", which suggests Apple is removing support for iPads.

To perhaps compensate users, Apple is loading iOS 16 with a revamped Home app with new category sections. iOS 16 will also eventually add support for the Matter smart home connectivity standard.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.