iPads might lose Smart Home Hub capabilities in iOS 16

Apple will no longer let you utilize an iPad as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories starting with iOS 16. The text found in iOS 16’s second developer beta by MacRumors contributing writer Steve Moser spells out the change.

“A home hub is needed to take advantage of features like accepting accessory notifications and allowing other people to handle your home,” text in the Home app reportedly reads.

“You will not be capable of viewing shared homes until those homes are also elevated to the latest HomeKit. Therefore, the iPad will no longer be a home hub.”

HomeKit was assembled for several reasons. The primary motivation was to make tasks inside the home more accessible. In addition, it was designed to provide people with methods and tools to change and adapt certain home capabilities to their specific desires. Finally, it was done to compensate for the ongoing request for user-system co-evaluation.

HomeKit oversees connected home appliances through the HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP). Messages from HomeKit are constantly being sent by powered devices connected to HomeKit. They integrate fields that recognize the specific accessory and what category it is under. Each class also includes a code that is used to acknowledge what the gadget is.

It is also recognized with the Global State Number (GSN). This number is grown each time the accessory’s state is altered. Apple Continuity Protocols, like most Apple devices, are used. Continuity protocols include wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth/BLE and WiFi. They can be conducted through a device-to-device connection. For example, HomeKit uses Bluetooth and WiFi protocols. On HomePods and some Apple TVs, Thread is also used to link and communicate with devices.

Manufacturers of HomeKit-enabled devices are directed to enroll in the MFi Program, and initially, all HomeKit-based products were needed to include an encryption co-processor. The latter requirement was later changed in iOS 11, adding software-based authentication support. In addition, equipment manufactured without HomeKit permission can be enabled for the use through a “gateway” product, a bridge that links those devices to the HomeKit service.

HomeKit primarily competes with innovative home standards from Amazon and Google. For example, as of October 2019, Apple lists 450 devices compatible with HomeKit, approximately 10,000 for Google and 85,000 for Amazon.

The iOS 16 beta code text indicates Apple is dropping iPad home hub support. If the change goes into effect as the found text suggests, you’ll need to use a HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV as your home hub when you upgrade to iOS 16.

The HomePod is a suspended smart speaker developed by Apple Inc. The HomePod was conceived to work with the Apple Music subscription service. The HomePod was notified on June 5, 2017, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Its takeoff was later delayed from December 2017 to February 2018. Apple began accepting orders on January 26, 2018. The speaker was formally unleashed on February 9, 2018. It incorporated beamforming and eight speakers and was marketed in two colors: white and space gray.

The HomePod obtained mixed reviews: it was praised for its design and sound quality compared to other speakers of its cost and criticized for lack of third-party support and high price compared to other smart speakers. Further, the silicone base on the bottom of the device sometimes damaged wooden surfaces.

As of August 2018, the HomePod had traded an estimated 1 to 3 million units. It was discontinued on March 12, 2021, accepting the smaller and less expensive HomePod Mini.

But as MacRumors files out, the company’s iOS 16 preview webpage says that “only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs,” which indicates that Apple is planning to remove support for iPads.

iOS 16 is the 16th and forthcoming major release of the iOS mobile operating system conceived by Apple for its iPhone array of products. It was declared at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 6, 2022, as iOS 15.

WWDC, The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, is an IT conference held annually by Apple Inc. The meeting is usually held at Apple Park in California. The event is generally used to showcase new software and technologies in the iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, iOS, and tvOS families, with other Apple software.

WWDC is also an affair hosted for third-party software developers that operate on apps for iPhones, Macs, iPads, and other Apple devices. Attendees can partake in hands-on labs with Apple engineers and attend in-depth sessions surrounding various topics.

The first ever WWDC was carried out in 1983 with the intro of Apple Basic; it wasn’t until 2002 that Apple began using the conference as a major launchpad for new products. Starting in 1987, WWDC was maintained in Santa Clara. The conference proceeded to San Francisco after 15 years in nearby San Jose, where it eventually became Apple’s primary media affair of the year and regularly sold out. WWDC went to San Jose 13 years later.

WWDC 2020, 2021, and 2022 were hosted as online-only assemblages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these occasions were hosted at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

The public rendition of iOS 16 is expected to be unleashed in late 2022, while the public beta is anticipated to become available in July 2022. iOS 16 is the first iOS version not to support the iPod touch.

While the change might be disappointing, there is some good news on the innovative home front for iOS 16. The update will include an all-new Home app with features like a new categories section and a redesigned home tab. And a later iOS 16 update will add support for Matter, the new competent home connectivity standard with broad industry support that’s set to arrive sometime this fall. That upcoming Matter support may explain why Apple is dropping iPad home hub support: while no iPads support Thread, an intelligent home networking protocol used by Matter, the Apple TV 4K and the HomePod mini does.

Matter, previously Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), is a royalty-free home automation connectivity standard, with works only incurring certification costs. Announced on December 18, 2019, Matter aims to reduce fragmentation across different vendors and achieve interoperability among various providers’ smart home devices and Internet of things (IoT) platforms.

The project group was established and introduced by Amazon, Apple, Google, Comcast, and the Zigbee Alliance, now Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). Subsequent members include IKEA, Huawei, and Schneider, among others. Matter-compatible products and software updates for existing developments are expected to be released in 2022. Although the Matter code repository is open-source under the Apache permission, the Matter specification is approved by CSA.