In the future, only Apple TV and HomePod can assume the function of the control center. Hopes that Apple would reconsider have now been buried.
The iPad is officially not a so-called home hub anymore – and can therefore no longer serve as a control center for a HomeKit smart home. What had already been indicated by individual statements by Apple has now been confirmed by the group.
MacRumors reports this. The information is also on the iPadOS 16 preview website, where it says succinctly: “Only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs.” In the first beta version of iPadOS 16, there was still the option to set an iPad as a HomeKit control center, but the corresponding switch has now disappeared in the second beta. The hope that Apple could reverse its decision is dying.
A home hub is necessary to centrally control a HomeKit setup and make it available and controllable to the outside world. In the past, HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV and even an iPad with a power supply could be used for this. Apple’s restriction to the two types of devices has not yet been justified, but with the tablet there was always the risk that a user could simply take it with them and thus remove it from the home network. Apple TV and HomePods, on the other hand, are stationary devices.
The warning is also in the code
According to MacRumors, there are also corresponding strings in the code of iPadOS 16. It says a HomeKit control center is necessary to “receive functions such as notifications from devices and allow other people to control the home”. Even clearer: “The iPad is no longer supported as a home hub.”
One possible reason: With the upcoming HomeKit, Apple finally wants to support Matter, a broad smart home standard. It is conceivable that the iPad could not fulfill this. The iPad lacks support for Thread, a new short-range radio protocol. However, that’s also missing from the first-gen HomePod, which remains Home Hub-enabled.
Users who previously relied on their iPad as the control center for their smart home now have to switch to a HomePod mini or Apple TV. After all, the HomePod mini devices are quite cheap by Apple standards at less than 100 euros.