I wrote about the imminent Google Pixel Tablet a few days ago, and I was particularly impressed by its Google Home integration: Google's tablet is getting a magnetic charging hub that turns your tablet into a smart home interface and adds speakers. And it seems that Apple is thinking along similar lines for the 2023 iPads range.
According (opens in new tab) to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has an impressive track record in reporting future Apple products, "Apple is working to bring similar functionality to the iPad as soon as 2023."
What's Apple working on for your smart home?
Gurman had previously reported that Apple was working on a smart home device that would be a HomePod with a screen, or perhaps an iPad with a speaker hub. However, Gurman now reports that Apple has been working on "an iPad docking accessory that... would accomplish much of the same thing."
That sounds like a great idea to me: I use my iPad with my Hive smart thermostat and my Hue smart lights already, and the revamped Home app in iPadOS 16 is a much improved smart home controller. Having a dock that would automatically switch to home mode or simply prop up your iPad for FaceTime calls would be great, and magnetic docking would mean one less cable cluttering up the side of my sofa. I've already got MagSafe docks dotted around the flat and in the car for my iPhone 14, and it doesn't take long before you wonder why anybody ever put up with cabled connections at all.
As ever with predicted new products, Apple might change its mind completely, bin the product altogether or go in a completely different direction. But I hope this one pans out: Apple has been pretty quiet in the smart home department lately, and it'd be good to see some new ideas to make life a little simpler.
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