iPad will be able to act as Home hub on iPadOS 16, but only for “current features”

Initial beta versions of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 had noticeable change in Home app. iPad was not eligible to act as Home Hub anymore.

Apple made a comment that iPad could be used as Home hub for "current features" while undisclosed "new features", probably won't be supported.

As of now, it seems that these "new features" are related to Matter standard which HomeKit is adopting.

Reference: iPads Will Work as Home Hubs in iOS 16, But Won't Support New Home Architecture

Swift Playgrounds 4 is released

Following iPadOS 15.2 release, Swift Playgrounds 4 is now available.

With Swift Playgrounds 4 developers can now build apps on iPad and submit them to App Store Connect. Projects created by Swift Playgrounds 4 could be opened by Xcode on the Mac.

Notably, apps created in Swift Playgrounds could only use SwiftUI as user interface framework. Projects could use SwiftPM for dependency management.

Apple Developer: Swift Playgrounds 4 now available

App Store: Swift Playgrounds

Release notes: Swift Playgrounds Release Notes

iPad sales keep growing in Q3

iPad sales are growing in Europe in Q3 while other tablet vendors struggle.

Tablet shipments in Western Europe shrank 20%, with 6.9 million units shipped. “In Q3 2020, tablets had an extraordinary performance as they filled a gap created by PCs shortages. They are now seeing a corrective decline as penetration within the primary userbase saturates,” said analyst Trang Pham.

Despite the contracting market, Apple appeared to be unaffected. In recent quarters, Apple has increasingly widened its leadership in the market with other tablet vendors. In Q3 2021, Apple saw a 33% year-on-year growth while the other top five vendors recorded double-digit declines.

Catalys

Reference: European tablet shipments in Q3 saw iPad as the only winner

iPad’s market share grows in declining tablet market

Apple's iPad is still quite popular device even in declining tablet market.

Global shipments of tablets clocked in at 42.3 million units in the third quarter, representing a 9.4% year-over-year decline, according to new data from analysis firm IDC. However, Apple's iPad is still growing in the contracting market.
Apple shipped an estimated 14.7 million iPad units in the third quarter, up from 14 million units in Q3 2020. The number marks 4.6% year-over-year growth in iPad shipments, and has netted Apple a larger 34.6% share of the tablet market.

AppleInsider

Also, Apple marks iPad (4th generation) released in 2012 as "obsolete".