After iOS 16 releases later this fall, you'll no longer be able to use an iPad as a smart home hub to control HomeKit devices.

The news comes from iOS developer and MacRumors writer Steve Moser, who investigated the code for iOS 16 Beta 2. He posted his findings in a lengthy Twitter thread (opens in a new tab) that goes over some of the other changes introduced. on Apple devices. .

Changes in iOS 16

MacRumors reports (opens in a new tab) that when updating an iPad to iOS 16, a new message will appear in the Home app stating "A Home Center is required to take advantage of features such as receiving an accessory notification and allowing other people to control their homes. You won't be able to see shared homes until those homes are also updated to the latest version of HomeKit. The iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub here.

If you go to the iOS 16 preview page (opens in a new tab) and scroll down to the fine print, Apple confirms this by stating that only Apple TV and HomePod devices can be used as hub servers. We reached out to the tech giant and asked if they could explain why they dropped iPad support, but got no response. MacRumors suggests that the change could be related to the new Matter support.

Matter is an upcoming smart home standard being developed by various tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. It is supposed to be a universal protocol aimed at saving the smart home industry. The standard is expected to launch in the fall of 2022, which is the same release window as iOS 16.

New features and changes

Aside from the iPad drop, most of the changes are relatively minor. Moser claims that a lot of text will be changed. For example, Apple Car Key will now say "Passive entry may be available when your iPhone needs to charge." Some apps, like Health, will have slightly different icons. It is mainly tertiary material, but there are some notable additions.

For starters, Apple Maps is getting new routes optimized for electric bikes. There will also be a "game mode", but not much is known beyond that. iOS 16 is natively supported by Nintendo Switch Pro controllers, so this mode can be connected to Apple's new gaming support. Moser also discovered that Apple was working on a 3:2 aspect ratio for the iPhone Camera app which has not been activated. He claims that it could be an upcoming addition in a future iPhone.

Remember that this is only a beta version. It is unknown if and when any of them will be released. With the exception of iPads losing support for the home hub; It looks like it was carved in stone. In fact, you can try out the new iOS 16 beta for iPhone and iPad by downloading it from Apple's developer website (opens in a new tab). However, unless you are an app developer, we do not recommend it. These early betas are buggy and not designed for the device you rely on for communication, work, entertainment, and more. The good news is that public betas (read "more stable") are probably only a few weeks away.

If you want to learn more about creating a smart home, TechRadar has a guide to the best devices for 2022 to get you started.

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