Apple has put a renewed emphasis on HomeKit this year with iOS 16, bringing a completely redesigned Home app ahead of the looming Matter standard launch. One key aspect of HomeKit is having a home hub, which allows for features like out-of-home control, automations, and more.
Apple has traditionally allowed HomePod, Apple TV, and iPad devices to serve as home hubs. With the release of iOS and iPadOS 16 this year, however, iPads will no longer be supported as home hubs.
Apple’s website indicates that the new Home app and associated features in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 require a home hub, including sharing a home and receiving Home notifications.