The iPad will continue to function as a Home hub in iPadOS 16 - with limitations
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After two weeks of saying that it wouldn't work at all, Apple has now said that the iPad will continue to function as a Home Hub in iPadOS 16 — but the limitations aren't yet fully clear.
In June, Apple announced that it would be retooling the architecture for HomeKit in iPadOS 16. The goal is to make the Home app faster and more reliable.
While the promise of a better Home app experience excited many of its users, documentation from Apple first suggested then said outright that the iPad wouldn't function as a Home Hub in iPadOS 16.
In response, Apple issued a statement to address users' concerns.
"iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will continue to support iPad as a home hub with no loss in functionality," Apple spokesperson Catherine Franklin said in a statement to The Verge.
But the statement didn't end there.
"Alongside these releases, the Home app will introduce a new architecture for an even more efficient and reliable experience," added Franklin. "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."
So, based on Apple's current statement, iPad users won't lose Home Hub functionality for existing features. But, it also appears that they won't be able to take advantage of many of the new features that the architecture update will introduce.
This is likely centered around the new smart home standard, Matter. While it's not clear exactly why, it appears that Apple won't add full Matter compatibility to the iPad.
Previously known as "Project Connected Home over IP," Matter is a standard that aims to improve the integration between Internet of Things devices rather than replace technologies and platforms such as Apple's HomeKit.
By ensuring devices under Matter work with each other, consumers are less likely to have trouble getting the hardware to communicate with other items in their existing smart home setup.
Of Apple's current lineup, only the HomePod mini and the Apple TV support Matter. Users will need to purchase one of these devices to take full advantage of the coming updates to HomeKit.