iPads can be useful devices for a lot of things, especially out of the house. From working in a cafe, watching films while you travel, editing images on location. But rumours of a new accessory suggests that they could come to have a new use in the home.
It's been reported that Apple's developing a docking accessory that would turn the iPad into a smart home display. This would be able control smart home accessories while also making it easier to make FaceTime calls using the iPad's front-facing camera and Center Stage (see our guide to the iPad generations for all of Apple's current tablets).
Apple's been rumoured to be working on several new smart home products, including a standalone smart home display with a smart speaker, a HomePod with a screen and even an operating system, homeOS. Bloomberg's regular Apple analyst Mark Gurman has reported (opens in new tab) that he's been told that Apple's also working on a new iPad docking accessory as a kind of stopgap.
"I'm told Apple is working to bring similar functionality to the iPad as soon as 2023," he wrote. He said the idea is to eventually launch a standalone display "that users can place on a kitchen counter, in the living room or on their nightstand", but that the iPad docking accessory "would accomplish much of the same thing".
The device sounds similar to the charging dock that Google has announced for its upcoming Pixel Tablet. In a press release (opens in new tab), Google said the dock will have an integrated speaker and will magnetically attach to the back of the tablet. It says the device "reimagines how a tablet can actually be helpful all the time in your home by pairing with a new Charging Speaker Dock."
Something similar for an iPad could be really handy. Apple's tablets are powerful and versatile, and they're great to use handheld or with a keyboard for work, but they can be held back for home use by the need to find the best iPad stand.
There are already several charging docks for iPads dedicated dock could keep the iPad charged, provide decent audio and make taking quick video calls a breeze while also controlling smart home devices such as lights and heating. Even merely the access to existing iPad features like Siri
For Apple's current smart home devices, see our guide to the best Home Pod mini deals. We've also made a pick of the best iPad cases.
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