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How to Set Up an Apple Home Hub to Make Your Smart Home Smarter

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Apple’s Home app offers a single interface for controlling all your HomeKit smart home accessories. But to get the most from this experience you need to set up an Apple home hub. A home hub allows you to control your accessories remotely, create automations, and invite guests to control your home.


Setting up an Apple home hub is simple; it often happens automatically. However, you need to make sure you’ve got the right devices to do it, and then you need to know how to set it up on the device you own.


What Is an Apple Home Hub?

An Apple home hub is an always-on device that securely connects your HomeKit smart home accessories to the internet. This allows you to control your smart home from anywhere in the world, as long as you’ve got an internet connection.

Without an Apple home hub, you need to be connected to your home Wi-Fi network to control your accessories.

An Apple home hub also allows you to set up smart home automations for your accessories in the Home app. You might use this to fade the lights on as the sun rises, lock your doors when you go to bed, play some music when you arrive home, and much more.

Finally, an Apple home hub allows you to share your smart home controls with guests visiting your home. This is particularly useful if you’ve got overnight visitors and you want them to be able to lock the door or switch on the lights without asking you to do it for them.

What Devices Can Be an Apple Home Hub?

You can only use one of the following options as an Apple home hub:

  • Apple TV (4th generation) or later
  • HomePod or HomePod mini
  • iPad

Apple plans to release an update to the HomeKit architecture in late 2022 that will stop letting you use an iPad as a home hub. To keep using an iPad, make sure you don’t update to this new architecture.

An Apple Home Hub must be at your home, powered on, and connected to Wi-Fi at all times. This is why it’s usually easier to use an Apple TV or a HomePod.

If you have several of these devices, Apple HomeKit will only use one of them as a home hub, while the others will act as a standby if the default device fails.

If you don’t have one of these devices, you won’t be able to set up an Apple home hub. In which case, it might be worth picking up a second-hand HomePod or looking at alternative smart home setups.

How to Check if You Already Have a Home Hub

Setting up an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad as an Apple home hub is incredibly easy. In fact, a HomePod will automatically set itself up as your Apple Home Hub when you sign in to your iCloud account and connect to your Wi-Fi network during the setup.

To find out if you already have a home hub set up:

  1. Open the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  2. From the Home tab, tap the More (…) button and choose Home Settings.
  3. Select Home Hubs & Bridges. Any available home hubs will be listed at the top, with the default hub saying Connected next to it.

How to Set Up an Apple Home Hub

If you’re using an iPad, or if your Apple TV or HomePod hasn’t been set up as a home hub, follow the step-by-step instructions for setting up each device below.

Set Up an iPad as a Home Hub

To use an iPad as an Apple home hub, you need to make sure it stays at home, powered on, and connected to Wi-Fi all the time. The best way to do this is to keep it connected to a charger at all times. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to make sure you don’t update to new HomeKit architecture Apple plans to release in late 2022.

If you still want to set up your iPad as an Apple home hub, follow these steps:

  1. On your iPad, go to Settings and make sure you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi and that Bluetooth is on.
  2. Then tap [Your Name] > iCloud.
  3. Under Apps Using iCloud, choose to Show All and enable the Keychain and Home options.
  4. Finally, go to Settings > Home and choose to Use this iPad as a Home Hub.

Set Up an Apple TV as a Home Hub

To set up your Apple TV as an Apple home hub:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > [Your Name] and take note of the user account you’re signed in to at the top of the page. If you have a Mac instead, go to System Preferences > Apple ID.
  2. Now hit iCloud. Under Apps Using iCloud, choose to Show All and enable the Keychain and Home options.
  3. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Users and Accounts > [Your Account] and make sure the iCloud account matches what you’re signed in to on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  4. Now, go back to the main Apple TV Settings, select Network, and make sure your Apple TV is connected to your home Wi-Fi.
  5. Finally, go back to the main Apple TV Settings, select AirPlay and HomeKit, scroll down to Home Hub and make sure it says Connected. You may also need to select a Room for your Apple TV under the HomeKit section.

Set Up a HomePod or HomePod mini as a Home Hub

Setting up your HomePod or HomePod mini as a home hub is even easier:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone or iPad that’s connected to your HomePod.
  2. Make sure you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is on.
  3. Now tap [Your Name] or Sign in at the top of the Settings and make sure you’re signed in to your iCloud account.
  4. Then tap iCloud.
  5. Under Apps Using iCloud, choose to Show All and enable the Keychain and Home options.

Apple HomeKit Gets Better Every Year

Setting up an Apple home hub is especially useful if you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem.

After setting one up, you can use Siri on any of your Apple devices to check in on your smart home wherever you are in the world. You can streamline your life with automations. You can even invite family members and guests to control your home.

However, HomeKit’s capabilities don’t end there. With every passing year, Apple adds more functions to its smart home network, making sure your investment in this ecosystem will be rewarded for many years to come.



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