Apple snuck a smart home feature into new Macs and iPads, and it's only just been found

Macbook Air Review 2022
Macbook Air Review 2022 (Image credit: iMore / Gerald Lynch)

When the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max launched last year, FCC filings indicated the new phones had a Thread radio inside.

It was a curious reveal (and one that remains seemingly innate, at least for now), but in many ways, no one thought more of it, especially since Apple said it was for "opening up future opportunities for Home app integrations” that never really came to pass.

Thread is the primary wireless protocol for Matter, the unified smart home standard that Apple, and other tech giants like Google, have been working toward to improve compatibility across smart home accessories.

Now, though, it appears Thread has found its way into more Apple devices.

iPad Pro with M4 chipset

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Thread radio found in multiple Apple devices

As spotted by The Verge, the FCC has seemingly confirmed that Thread radios have been tested inside the latest iPad Pro, the M2 iPad Air, the M3 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, and the M3 iMac.

But why? Well, it's hard to say right now (Apple hasn't responded to The Verge's request for comment), but with WWDC 24 less than a week away, we may find out then.

We've long expected an iPad that can act as a home hub, but Apple may look to go above and beyond by putting more smart home functionality on the Mac, too. While both platforms currently have access to the Home app, having a Thread radio onboard would assist with interfacing more directly with your home's gadgets.

iPad Pro M4 13-inch | $1299 at Apple

iPad Pro M4 13-inch | $1299 at Apple

The latest and greatest iPad, the iPad Pro M4 has a Thread radio inside - so you can find out exactly what it can do as soon as Apple tells us.

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Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom. Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more. He’s also the Editor in Chief at, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.