We announced this week the redesign of theApple’s Home automation app Homekit that will arrive with iOS 16. A complete overhaul of the application which will finally offer simplified ergonomics, but also full support for the new protocol matter home automation to go out in the fall. But what Apple overlooked during Monday’s WWDC announcements was the fact that this new update of its home automation application will also have a strong impact on equipment that can be used as a HomeKit HUB.
Indeed, if we linger for a few minutes on the page detailing the new features integrated into iOS 16we can read in point 14 that with iOS and this new version of the Apple home automation application, only Apple TV or HomePod can act as a hub (homekit home automation box) for the smart home.
A quiet but significant change
As a reminder, when configuring a smart home based on Apple, you must choose an Apple device to act as a hub, which will remain in the house. This device needs to stay home to receive commands, send notifications, control automations, and govern the entire home. Until now, the iPad, Apple’s famous touchscreen tablet could also carry this role of HUB Homekit. Many people use it as such, having no AppleTV at home or from HomePodpreferring to the latter a loudspeaker Google Nest or a Amazon Echomore complete and efficient in the smart home.
It is therefore a redesign that will divide, because many users have been waiting for so many years for the redesign of the Home application for improved ergonomics, but will not be able to take advantage of it without investing in a AppleTV or one HomePod…
If Apple does not provide any explanation for this change, one can imagine that it now considers the iPad, which is evolving more and more towards a laptop computer more than a simple tablet, becomes an element which no longer has the vocation to stay at home and therefore is not compatible with this role of home automation hub. Another hypothesis, Apple may simply want to boost HomePod sales which are still lagging behind Google and Amazon.
If this new version of the application Apple Home envy, this small blow may delay the update for some users. Change of strategy at Apple, this is not a first, but we will have to get used to it and now consider buying a HomePod to enjoy the Apple connected home. It is undoubtedly the device that lends itself the most to this function of home automation HUBbut that would still require Apple to decide to make this smart speaker more efficient to control home automation.