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iPads are no longer permitted to be used as HomeKit hubs in iPadOS 16

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iPads are no longer permitted to be used as HomeKit hubs in iPadOS 16
Homekit Accessories on shelf

Hadrian/Shutterstock

The announcement of iPadOS 16 is bringing a lot of attention to Apple’s tablet ecosystem and proving once again how the company is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of this form factor. Although not new features in computing, Stage Manager and Virtual Memory Swap elevate some Apple’s iPads to a new level. They are closer to becoming the perfect laptop replacement. That said, the fine print surrounding iPadOS 16’s new features is starting to surface, and some of them are a bit confusing. One is particularly troubling as it will take away what may be a useful feature for older iPads (retired) that are left at home to be used as a smart home display.

Despite having long invested in the smart home market via its HomeKit platform, some would consider Apple late to some of the trends in home automation. Apple, for example, has yet to launch a smart home display. Amazon and Google, on the other hand, have at least two generations of these stationary tablets. Apple would prefer HomeKit users use their Apple TVs or Apple HomePod speakers as HomeKit hubs. However, more creative users have managed to get around this, at least for now.

Just like an iPhone, the iPad has HomeKit access. Some have even made it a HomeKit Smart Display. Although it’s convenient, it allows you to access the Home app on a larger screen. You don’t have to turn on the TV or use Siri to perform actions. Unfortunately, Twitter user Tech Crtr discovered a footnote for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 that reveals things will change, leaving iPads officially Home-less as far as the HomeKit app goes.

Old iPads may have lost their only purpose

iPad Homekit on iPad iPhone

Yeamake/Shutterstock

The footnote states, “Sharing and receiving Home notifications requires a hub.” Home hubs are only supported by Apple TV and HomePod, which excludes iPads. It makes sense on some level because iPads are mobile devices and smart home hubs are meant for staying at home. The Apple TV and HomePod are the only home hubs supported by Apple TV. This ensures you don’t accidentally take your iPad Smart Display with you to take down your smart home setup.

Using iPads as home hubs can be a way of prolonging the life of an iPad that’s not “mobile-worthy”. These tablets are often used for family purposes and can be used as a home hub. Your iPad and iPhone will still be able to use the dedicated display for their regular usage. As well, Apple still lists the iPad as a device that can be used as a home hub on a support web page, as shown in the screenshot below; it’s unclear why the company would change its mind about this particular usage. Regardless, these old iPads might suddenly find themselves without a purpose, even if they’re capable of running iPadOS 16.

Apple

HomeKit itself isn’t changing much in iOS 16 and feels more like an incremental upgrade than something completely revolutionary. The new Home app features a simplified user interface and a view that displays all of your rooms and accessories in one place. This app is ready to support the new Matter cross-platform smart house standard. However, it will only run on Apple TVs or HomePods later in the year.

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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