Minimalism is the name of the game in design these days, so if you’re looking to declutter your home, just use your iPad as a smart home hub. That’s right — no need to buy a separate piece of hardware to control your whole house from a single point. Just use that little tablet you don’t know what to do with anyway.
At this year’s WWDC, Apple revealed the next generation of HomeKit, its answer to the Internet of Things revolution that’s sweeping the tech industry with products like smart lights, thermostats, and even sprinkler systems. And perhaps the most important announcement the iEmpire made was that both the Apple TV and iPad can serve as a HomeKit hub.
Actually, Apple didn’t announce the iPad bit at first — rather, it focused on Apple TV during its big reveal (probably because it’s a bigger-ticket item). During his speech, Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi noted that the Apple TV serves as an ideal smart home hub as it’s “Always on, always plugged in, and always on the network in your home.” That means that you’ll be able to establish a geofence that activates a number of smart home features as soon as you (or rather, your iPhone) cross a certain geographic threshold. So if you want your lights on when you get home (but don’t want them on all day), you can make your HomeKit take care of that for you.
But if you don’t have an Apple TV, that’s fine too. With an iPad, you’ll be able to adjust your system settings to connect with iCloud and turn your tablet into a hub. You can adjust home device automations, remotely access individual accessories, and more. And apparently, you’ll also be privy to “more powerful user permissions” if you use an Apple device as a a Home Hub, though the Cupertino-based company has yet to unveil what those are.
In addition to these new hub options, Apple is also expanding its connected device categories to include air conditioners, air purifiers, cameras, doorbells, and humidifiers.
So get ready for your home to become smarter than you.