The iPad can be used as a home hub, so you can control your HomeKit accessories when you’re not at home. This is also possible from iPadOS 16, but there is an important caveat…
iPadOS 16: iPad as a HomeKit hub
Based on text discovered in the beta code of iOS 16, there were rumors that the iPad cannot be used as a home hub from iPadOS 16 onwards. Fortunately this does not appear to be the case. “iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will continue to support the iPad as a home hub without losing functionality,” Apple spokesperson Catherine Franklin said. The Verge†
There is, however, an important “but”: Apple plans to introduce a new architecture for the Home app in a later iPadOS 16 update, which will no longer allow the iPad to be used as a home hub. “Users who use the iPad as a home hub do not need to update and can continue to enjoy existing features,” explains Franklin.
Do you still need to update?
Apple has been vague about what exactly will change with the architecture upgrade. But chances are it’s a reference to Matter, a new smart home standard. This ensures that smart home products can work in different ecosystems, so that many more smart devices may soon be compatible with HomeKit.
Apple previously announced that iPads cannot handle Matter, so you need an Apple TV or HomePod for that. As for an Apple TV, an Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K is required. The HomePod – Apple’s smart speaker – also works with Matter as a home hub. In the Netherlands, only the smaller HomePod mini (€109) is available.