iPad no longer usable as HomeKit Hub under iPadOS 16?

iPadOS 16 Wetter

Matter as Smart Home standard leads to some changes.

In the fine print of the iPadOS 16 announcement, there is a paragraph in which Apple mentions that all HomeKit devices that want to use the future Matter standard will only work with an AppleTV or HomePod as a HomeKit hub. Now there is discussion whether this completely eliminates the iPad as a HomeKit hub.

iPadOS 16 HomeKit Hub 1

The reason could be that Apple simply denies the iPads the Matter standard, which is after all only a software solution. The argument could rather be that they do not support the Thread wireless protocol for modern HomeKit devices, such as those from EVE. But this situation is currently already the case and is not a problem, because Thread devices then simply switch to Bluetooth. Currently, you can use old iPads with at least iOS 10 as HomeKit hubs.

iPad HomeKit Hub

So either Apple stops using the iPad as a hub, which would be a shame for casual users (i.e. people with two remote-controlled lightbulbs) or power users (who have an extra iPad on the wall). Or it could just be that Apple is simply denying Matter support to the iPad as an artificial limitation.

Either way, this situation unfortunately makes it clear that a smart home installation is not designed to last forever. Even small changes from one company can have far-reaching consequences for you. If you use an iPad as a HomeKit hub, we would simply wait and see what happens.

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