Apple iPad smart home hub dock rumored to be coming soon

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited October 2022
Apple is planning to make the iPad a more central fixture in the home, by turning it into a smart home hub and speaker that could live on a kitchen counter.

A simple concept of a 'HomeHub' running tvOS
A simple concept of a 'HomeHub' running tvOS


Apple's HomeKit platform relies on devices like iPads, the Apple TV, and the HomePod mini to function. However, none work as a central controllable and dedicated fixture for the home, something Apple is apparently keen to change.

In his early "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reiterates earlier rumors of standalone devices combining an iPad with a speaker hub that could act as a smart home's central hub. Apple is seemingly looking into a second approach that could offer the same benefits but with an iPad.

Gurman refers to the Pixel Tablet launch by Google in May, which in October, the search company disclosed it intended to sell an accessory to dock the Pixel Tablet, turning into a smart display and home control device. Gurman claims he was told that Apple is working on similar functionality, which could arrive in 2023.

This includes the standalone hub, but also an iPad docking accessory. It is reckoned the two concepts could be kept on a kitchen counter, a living room, or on a nightstand.

Rumors have floated about updates to the HomePod range in early 2023, as well as claims about a new model, with a hub-style smart device potentially fitting neatly into that product category.

Apple has also arguably laid the groundwork for the accessory in iOS 16, with a retooling of the HomeKit architecture making the Home app faster and more reliable. There's also Matter support, which will open up HomeKit to communicate with more devices made for other smart home platforms.

On the hardware side, rumors have been put forward for Apple to introduce a new four-pin Smart Connector design in its iPad Pro devices. Such a connector could be used to dock the iPad, and potentially handle both data and power.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    please lord make this true! long have I dreamed of this…
    mattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    please lord make this true! long have I dreamed of this…
    Same here! I’d love to have this. Would just make my iPad even more versatile and irreplaceable 
    jas99mattinozwatto_cobragregoriusm
  • Reply 3 of 11
    please lord make this true! long have I dreamed of this…
    Same here! I’d love to have this. Would just make my iPad even more versatile and irreplaceable 
    I have it now, sort of….my ipad pro in the family room connected to the old iPod speaker, the ipad pro as my hub for homekit.
    jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,987member
    please lord make this true! long have I dreamed of this…
    Yes having involved with iPad docks recently this seems like a slow move on apples part. 

    Hopefully in means a Smart Connector to PoE cable will be nice neat clean single cable deal in the future not an plug popping out the end and a mess of dongles 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Of course this is coming now.  With Matter on the way and other smart home docks that will gain compatibility (Echo Show, Google Home Hub), Apple is gonna have to step it up to compete. 
    watto_cobragregoriusm
  • Reply 6 of 11
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 691member
    Sorry, but I think 70% consumers are lost at “…can act as a HomeKit Hub … with Matter support”. we just want to buy product in a shop and manage them via an iPhone, without having to research how best to set up Hubs (iPad, HomePod, HomePod Mini, AppleTV, all of the above, one?). 
    dewme
  • Reply 7 of 11
    cg27cg27 Posts: 188member
    sflagel said:
    Sorry, but I think 70% consumers are lost at “…can act as a HomeKit Hub … with Matter support”. we just want to buy product in a shop and manage them via an iPhone, without having to research how best to set up Hubs (iPad, HomePod, HomePod Mini, AppleTV, all of the above, one?). 
    Exactly right, and probably more like 95% of consumers want/expect plug-and-play it-just-works compatibility and ease of use.  If Matter delivers on its promise then 2023 could finally be the time to jump in and not need to succumb to Google/Nest and Amazon/Ring/Echo/Eero etc spyware.


    PatchyThePirateV.3sflagel
  • Reply 8 of 11
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,287member
    It better have the Thread support built in! 
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 9 of 11
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,287member
    Also, it could be the reason why new iPads are rumored to have more smart connectors - they could be used to function as a dedicated smart automation - using Thread and Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and using smart connector for power source. It just seems more "elegant" to just magnetically snap iPad into a mount designed for it. 
    PatchyThePirateV.3gregoriusm
  • Reply 10 of 11
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 691member
    cg27 said:
    sflagel said:
    Sorry, but I think 70% consumers are lost at “…can act as a HomeKit Hub … with Matter support”. we just want to buy product in a shop and manage them via an iPhone, without having to research how best to set up Hubs (iPad, HomePod, HomePod Mini, AppleTV, all of the above, one?). 
    Exactly right, and probably more like 95% of consumers want/expect plug-and-play it-just-works compatibility and ease of use.  If Matter delivers on its promise then 2023 could finally be the time to jump in and not need to succumb to Google/Nest and Amazon/Ring/Echo/Eero etc spyware.


    I hope so. The articles about the connected home are too technical. It runs us off. Imagine if the press had been writing about API, protocols, frequencies, etc ad nauseam when the iPhone came out. Consumers don’t care how Calender shares data with Mail, or what protocols iCloud uses to allow syncing across devices. We just want to know what works and what doesn’t - not why. 
    dewme
  • Reply 11 of 11
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 691member
    netrox said:
    Also, it could be the reason why new iPads are rumored to have more smart connectors - they could be used to function as a dedicated smart automation - using Thread and Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and using smart connector for power source. It just seems more "elegant" to just magnetically snap iPad into a mount designed for it. 
    Like the Logitech stand for the iPad Pro 12.9 inch? The good ole days. 
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