Last week it came news revealed that Apple would likely remove the HomeKit Hub feature from the iPad with the arrival of iPadOS 16. The beta version of the software would indicate that the feature would be discontinued as Apple released a redesigned Home app (Home app ) that is more efficient and reliable for controlling all kinds of smart home products. This can of course always be controlled with an iPhone or iPad, but the iPad could soon no longer be used as a hub. Only the Apple TV and the HomePod would be suitable for this.
Apple now lets itself in a statement know that Hub support for the iPad will not expire, even when you install the latest version of the Home app. However, the Home app will have an option to add the new architecture and support for the above mentioned Matter standard to activate. If you want to continue to use the iPad as a hub, you do not need to activate this option. According to Apple, the iPad does not support that architecture and the Matter standard, which means that the Hub function will expire after activation. So Matter support seems to be the main difference, requiring an Apple TV or HomePod as a Hub.