The back of the iPad Air 2022 in Blue shpwing the Smart Connector
The back of the iPad Air 2022 in Blue

Apple plans to ditch home hub support on its iPad tablets, according to a line of code spotted by MacRumors’ Steve Moser in iOS 16

“A home hub is required to take advantage of features like receiving accessory notifications and allowing other people to control your home”, reads a message displayed in the Home app in Apple’s iOS 16 code.

“You will not be able to view shared homes until those homes are also upgraded to the latest HomeKit. iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub”.

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are expected to roll out this fall, meaning Apple Home users seemingly won’t be able to use the iPad as a home hub to connect and control their HomeKit smart devices from then. 

This means that those currently using their Apple tablets as home hubs will also lose features such as the ability to control HomeKit accessories while they’re away, the option to approve access for friends and family and custom automations. 

The update appears to include all iPads, including the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad, and means that users will need to pick up a HomePod, HomePod Mini or Apple TV to use as a home hub for their HomeKit devices if they want to continue to access the above features going forward. 

It sounds as though they’ll still be able to control their smart devices remotely through the Home app on iOS phones, such as the iPhone 13, by signing in with the same Apple ID, but an iPad won’t cut it as a hub anymore. 

This report wasn’t the first clue we’d seen that Apple was dropping home hub support from the iPad. As mentioned in the MacRumors report, the company’s iOS 16 preview webpage had already hinted that only Apple TV and HomePod devices would be supported as home hubs going forward. 

However, the line of code spotted by Moser comes a step closer to confirming the loss of tablet support for Apple Home and HomeKit users.

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