You will no longer be able to use an iPad as a HomeKit hub for your connected home as of iOS 16 and tvOS 16. Only Apple TV and HomePod will work, reports MacRumors.
With iOS 16, Apple will introduce a redesigned Home app "rebuilt from the ground up to be even more efficient and reliable" when controlling lights, cameras, AirPlay 2 speakers, HomeKit-compatible TVs (LG, Sony, TCL etc.) and other connected home devices.
This change "requires all Apple devices that access the home to be using the latest software," Apple has confirmed on its website, and "only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs". A HomeKit hub allows you to control your devices even when you are away from home.
In the past, an iPad could also be used as home hub for HomeKit. As of iOS 16 and tvOS 16 "iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub", text in the latest iOS 16 beta 2 reads, according to MacRumors.
You will still be able to use an iPad, iPhone and Mac to control your home.
Apple TV works as both a HomeKit hub and a HomeKit client to control/view your devices
You may need new hardware
The change may require some HomeKit users to replace their media player or smart speaker from Amazon, Roku or Google with an Apple TV box or HomePod speaker, if they rely only on iPad as a HomeKit hub today.
Apple has not explained why it is phasing out support for iPad but it may be related to Apple's introduction of Matter support later this year.
Matter, which is backed by Apple, Amazon, Google and others, is a new royalty-free smart home connectivity standard that aims to achieve interoperability across ecosystems, products, and brands.
Also read: Matter to support TV control & universal casting alternative to AirPlay, Chromecast
At launch, Matter will rely on Ethernet, WiFi, and Thread to communicate between devices. If Apple is positioning Thread as a key component in its redesigned Home app and Matter support in HomeKit, older Apple TV or HomePod devices may not even be enough. Only Apple TV 4K 2nd Gen and HomePod Mini support Thread. There are no iPads with Thread support.
- Source: Apple, MacRumors