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iPad can still be your home hub in iPadOS 16, but there's a huge catch

WWDC 2022 Home App Introduction
WWDC 2022 Home App Introduction (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has provided some clarity over using the iPad as a home hub in iPadOS 16.
  • Code in the iOS 16 seemed to indicate that only the Apple TV and HomePod could be used on the new software.
  • Apple says users who choose to stay on the old architecture of the Home app can still use the iPad.

In an attempt to appease some users, Apple seems to have made the iPad/Home Hub saga even more complicated.

In a statement to The Verge, Apple spokesperson Catherine Franklin said that iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will continue to support the iPad as a home hub — with a major catch. According to Franklin, in order to continue to use the iPad as a home hub, users will need to use the old architecture that currently powers the Home app.

"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. While that seems promising on its face, there is a big asterisk. Apple is planning to introduce a new architecture to the new Home app in iPadOS 16, and the iPad won't be supported as a home hub with that architecture.Here's Franklin's full statement: "Alongside these releases, the Home app will introduce a new architecture for an even more efficient and reliable experience. 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."

WWDC 2022 Home App Devices

WWDC 2022 Home App Devices (Image credit: Apple)

It's currently unclear how Apple will ensure users who are currently using an iPad know to stay on the old architecture. It's also unclear exactly why using the iPad as a home hub is not supported with the new architecture.

The Verge speculates that it may have something to do with Matter, the new smart home interoperability standard which Apple has promised to support with the new Home app.

If you want to avoid all of this mess, the best thing you could do is pick up an Apple TV or a HomePod mini, two devices that WILL be supported as home hubs with the new Home app architecture in iPadOS 16.

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

1 Comment
  • More accurately, pick up an Apple TV or a HomePod mini, two devices that WILL CONTINUE to be supported as home hubs. They already are and always made more sense as a hub. That should be something that sits at home all the time.