iPads Will Work as Home Hubs in iOS 16, But Won't Support New Home Architecture

Though code in iOS 16 has indicated that the iPad won't work as a home hub following the update, an Apple spokesperson today told The Verge that the ‌iPad‌ will indeed still be able to be used as a home hub, but with a caveat - it will not support new architecture that is being introduced later this year.

home app ios 16
The spokesperson said that Apple is planning to "introduce a new architecture," which could be referring to Matter, a new smart home standard that will allow for better interoperability between smart home devices from different companies and manufacturers. Apple is expected to introduce Matter support later this year.

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will continue to support iPad as a home hub with no loss in functionality. Alongside these releases, the Home app will introduce a new architecture for an even more efficient and reliable experience. Because iPad will not be supported as a home hub with the new architecture, users who rely on iPad for that purpose do not need to update the Home architecture and can continue enjoying all existing features.

Those who use an ‌iPad‌ for their smart home setups will need to avoid updating to the new architecture, which will be available as an upgrade in the Home app's settings in an update to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. Customers who want to continue using an ‌iPad‌ will need to avoid this future update, which sounds like it is coming in an iOS 16.1 or iOS 16.2 software release.

Apple has already made it clear that iPads will not be compatible with Matter, as the iOS 16 preview page states that Matter accessories rely on an Apple TV 4K or HomePod as a home hub, with no mention of the ‌iPad‌. So in conclusion, for the time being, the ‌iPad‌ can be used as a home hub, but things are likely to change later this year with future iOS 16 updates.

The ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, ‌Apple TV‌ HD, ‌HomePod‌, and HomePod mini will all work as home hubs with the new architecture that Apple has in the works.

Related Forum: iOS 16

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Top Rated Comments

felipur Avatar
26 months ago

I love apple’s strategy of purposely crippling iPadOS features, brilliant!!
Apple, like everyone, is moving to use Matter. Matter is based on openThread. Thread requires IEEE 802.15.4. IEEE 802.15.4 requires a different physical radio than the iPad has (or the mac or the iPhone). Apple isn't crippling anything, purposely or not. The hardware necessary just isn't there.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PsykX Avatar
26 months ago

I love apple’s strategy of purposely crippling iPadOS features, brilliant!!
I gotta say I always found it strange that a mobile device could act as a Home Hub. It could cause a lot of instability.
A Hub needs to be up and running 24/7. The HomePod and the Apple TV meet this criteria.
Not even Macs meet this criteria, because you're supposed to turn off your computer after use.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chrjy Avatar
26 months ago

Not even Macs meet this criteria, because you're supposed to turn off your computer after use.
Since when?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zv470 Avatar
26 months ago

This is for all the people early adopters who mounted iPad's to the walls in their house's to control the home automations in their house. I assume someone pointed out that it would not have been a good idea to burn the people who had pro installers build this sort of setup into there house when there is a new standard that breaks down barriers to entry to new ecosystems right around the corner.
Wall mounted iPads can still run the new home app with Matter support (as long as they can run v16) They just won’t act as a hub. Not a huge deal as people have HomePod mini or the new Apple TV.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
26 months ago
I don't agree that that statement suggested that iPad users would have to dodge OS upgrades. It sounds like upgrading your home to Matter in the Home App will be opt in and/or require some work from the user. There also seem to be HomeKit devices that have been discontinued or not updated to support thread. I’m not aware of any official word from Apple on what will happen to these devices when we switch to Matter. When we choose to upgrade to “the new home architecture”, it may leave some of our older devices in an obsolete status. People who use the iPad as a hub are one group of people who will not opt into Matter but I doubt they’re the only ones.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustSomebody12 Avatar
26 months ago

I gotta say I always found it strange that a mobile device could act as a Home Hub. It could cause a lot of instability.
A Hub needs to be up and running 24/7. The HomePod and the Apple TV meet this criteria.
Not even Macs meet this criteria, because you're supposed to turn off your computer after use.
More than instability if it remains powered off, then the whole house stays disconnected.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)