The Apple TV is a hub for HomeKit devices. You already use it to get access to all your devices from the outside. In iOS 10 it remains so, but there comes a new opportunity for people who do not have an Apple TV. Your iPad can also act as a ‘Home Hub’.
iPad as HomeKit hub
Apple announced at WWDC no major innovations to HomeKit except the standalone Home app. Meanwhile, Apple believes that there are enough devices that support HomeKit. At the WWDC stage, they showed a list of dozens of manufacturers that are already participating.
With iOS 10, there is a new opportunity. You no longer need an Apple TV to operate devices when you’re outdoors. An iPad works too, according to texts in the Home app.
iPad users can adjust the settings via iCloud. While the iPad is at home on the couch, you can control from your iPhone the settings at home. The iPad takes care of the Internet. With the ‘Home Hub’ you can set all kinds of scenes and provide remote access to accessories. Useful for people who have a second or third-generation Apple TV, or having no Apple TV. But please note that you at least need an iPad 4 in order to use it, because the still hugely popular iPad 2 and 3 have no update to iOS 10.
Apple promises that the permissions you can give to users are more powerful if you have an Apple TV or iPad used as a hub. Details on this are not yet known.
More HomeKit devices
Apple has also indicated that there are five new product categories in the documentation of HomeKit: air conditioners, air fresheners, humidifiers, cameras, and doorbells. Few years down the line, it could also come up with a portable generator. You could, for example, look through audio and video who is at the door, through a clever doorbell which also serves as a security system. Such systems naturally existed, but it took a while before they were HomeKit compliant.
During the WWDC presentation, Craig Federighi said that almost every major smart home manufacturers already have HomeKit products sold or announced support. Contractors in the US and China already build the standard in new homes.