Apple prepping smart HomePod hub for iPad docking

Apple is preparing a smart HomePod hub that will allow users to dock iPads to create a smart hub system with hi-fi speakers. The approach would be similar to what Google is doing with its next Pixel Tablet.

With Stage Manager, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes, drag and drop windows sideways, and open apps from the Dock to create groups.
iPad Pro with Stage Manager can create overlapping windows of different sizes, drag windows sideways, and open apps from the Dock to create groups.

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

I was told that Apple is working to bring similar functionality to the iPad as soon as 2023. I reported last year that Apple is exploring a standalone device that combines an iPad with a speaker hub. The idea is to offer something that users can place on the kitchen counter, in the living room or on the bedside table. But Apple also worked on an iPad docking accessory that it could sell separately and accomplish much the same thing.

Regardless of its final approach, the move would mark one of Apple’s most significant pushes in smart home devices, expanding on its still small foothold in set-top boxes and speakers.

Apple also continues to work on an updated version of the HomePod that would be larger than the mini version of the product and on a combined Apple TV and smart-speaker device with a camera for FaceTime and other functions. Until they’re ready, however, the 12-year-old iPad may be the company’s best solution for making noise in the smart home space.

Note from MacDailyNews: Gurman also reports that it will be launched via press release for the new 11 and 12.9-inch M2 iPad Pro models, a new iPad with USB-C and an iPad Pro-like design, 14 and 16-inch M2 MacBook Pro models, a Mac mini M2 and a new Apple TV with an A14 Bionic chip and 4GB of memory (versus the A12 Bionic chip and 3GB of the current Apple TV 4K).

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