Set up an Apple Home Hub to make your smart home smarter

Apple’s Home app provides one interface to control all your HomeKit smart home accessories. But to get the most out of this experience, you’ll need to set up an Apple home hub. With a home hub, you can remotely control your accessories, create automations, and invite guests to control your home.


Setting up an Apple home hub is easy; it often comes naturally. However, you need to make sure you have the right devices to do this, 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 have an internet connection.

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

With an Apple home hub, you can also set up smart home automations for your accessories in the Home app. You can use this to turn on the lights when the sun comes up, lock your doors when you go to bed, play some music when you get home, and much more.

Finally, an Apple Home Hub allows you to share your smart home controls with guests who visit your home. This is especially useful if you have overnight visitors and you want them to be able to lock the door or turn on the lights without you having to do it for them.

What devices can be an Apple Home Hub?

You can only use one of the following 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 by the end of 2022, which will no longer allow you to use an iPad as a home hub. If you want to continue using an iPad, make sure you don’t update to this new architecture.

An Apple Home Hub must be in your home, turned on and connected to Wi-Fi at all times. That’s 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 standby if the default device goes down.

If you don’t have one of these devices, you won’t be able to set up an Apple home hub. In that case, it might be worth picking up a used HomePod or looking into alternative smart home configurations.

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 automatically sets itself up as your Apple Home Hub when you sign into your iCloud account and connect to your Wi-Fi network during setup.

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

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

Set up an Apple Home Hub

If you’re using an iPad, or if your Apple TV or HomePod isn’t 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, make sure it’s always at home, turned on, and connected to Wi-Fi. The best way to do this is to keep it plugged into a charger at all times. As we mentioned before, you also need to make sure you don’t update to the new HomeKit architecture that Apple plans to release by the end of 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 are connected to your home Wi-Fi and that Bluetooth is on.
  2. Then tap [Your Name] > iCloud.
  3. below Apps that use iCloudchoose to Show all and switch the Keychain and House 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 at the top of the page note the user account you are logged in to. If you have a Mac instead, go to System Preferences > Apple ID.
  2. Now hit iCloud. below Apps that use iCloudchoose to Show all and switch the Keychain and House options.
  3. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Users & Accounts > [Your Account] and make sure the iCloud account that you’re signed in to on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  4. Now go back to the main Apple TV Settingsselect Networkand make sure your Apple TV is connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
  5. Finally, go back to the main Apple TV Settingsselect AirPlay and HomeKitscroll down to home hub and make sure it says Connected. You may also need 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 connected to your HomePod.
  2. Make sure you are connected to your home Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is on.
  3. Now tap [Your Name] or Login at the top of the Settings and make sure you are signed in to your iCloud account.
  4. Then tap iCloud.
  5. below Apps that use iCloudchoose to Show all and switch the Keychain and House options.

Apple HomeKit gets better every year

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

After you set one up, you can use Siri on all your Apple devices to check in to 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 serve your home.

HomeKit’s capabilities don’t end there, though. Every year, Apple adds more features to its smart home network, so your investment in this ecosystem will be rewarded for many years to come.

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