iOS 18 will fix Apple HomeKit's biggest problem by letting you pick your own home hub — bringing an end to flakey automations and misbehaving devices

Apple TV 4K 2022 box on a counter
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

If you're the proud owner of a smart home powered by Apple's HomeKit system, you're going to like what the upcoming iOS 18 iPhone software update has to offer. Ignore Apple Intelligence and all the other big features announced earlier this week — the biggest improvement for you is one that has so far avoided the limelight entirely.

The new feature is a simple option hidden within the Home app that will allow people to choose their own home hub. Whether that's a HomePod or an Apple TV 4K, it's up to you. But once you choose a preferred hub that's the one that will be used from there on out.

That's a bigger deal than you might think, too. I've already written about the problems that HomeKit can cause when allowed to choose its own home hub — normally brought about by the system choosing a HomePod in a far-flung corner of the home on a flakey Wi-Fi signal. But soon, HomeKit will have to do as it's told.

Now that's smart

The problem normally rears its head when people have multiple devices that can act as a home hub. One could be an Apple TV 4K box that's wired into the network and would, for obvious reasons, be the preferred choice. But as mentioned, HomeKit has a habit of choosing the other device which, more often than not, is on a poor connection and can't always be reached.

That causes issues in a variety of ways, and can often manifest itself in terms of automations not firing properly or smart home accessories not behaving as expected. But with iOS 18, set to launch this fall, you'll be able to tell HomeKit to always default to the Apple TV and its nice, fast Ethernet connection as spotted by HomeKit fans on Reddit.

I think people will be surprised just how many smart home gremlins this will address and iOS 18 can't come soon enough.

Apple TV 4K 128GB | $149 at Apple

Apple TV 4K 128GB | $149 at Apple

The Apple TV 4K is rarely discounted but even at full price, it's still the best streaming box around, especially if you're an Apple Arcade subscriber who wants to play games on the big screen.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.