Apple had already strongly suggested it and now confirms it: the iPad can no longer be used as a hub/control center for HomeKit with iPadOS 16.
Digging through the code for the iOS 16 beta, developer Steve Moser found the following statement:
A home hub is required to take advantage of features such as receiving accessory notifications and allowing others to control your home. You won’t be able to view shared homes until those homes are also upgraded to the latest version of HomeKit. iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub.
Those who used the iPad as a HomeKit control center will therefore have to find an alternative in the event of the installation of iPadOS 16. The alternative in question is to use another device that is still compatible, namely the HomePod (mini) or Apple TV. It is certain that this choice may annoy some people, especially those who currently have neither a HomePod nor an Apple TV.
It should be noted in passing that Apple has not explained why the iPad will no longer function as a home hub, but it could be that this has to do with the company’s upcoming implementation of the cross-platform Matter standard for connected homes. Later this year, Matter will allow HomeKit users to add more connected home accessories to their setups. Matter is also a reality on Android.