Matter is the long-awaited connectivity standard that aims to make smart home devices simpler to set up and manage. Google is now updating most of its products to support Matter.
The Matter standard officially launched in October, following over two years of development by a large group of tech companies (the Connectivity Standards Alliance), which includes Google. It took a while longer, but Google is now rolling out Matter support to all its smart speakers and displays — the Google Home speaker, Google Home Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (first and second-gen), Nest Hub Max, and Nest Wifi Pro. Those devices can function as a hub for Matter devices, but only with the Google Home app. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you won’t be setting up a new Nest speaker with the Alexa or SmartThings apps.
Some Google devices can also now function as Thread border routers, meaning they can connect low-power devices without built-in Wi-Fi (like some door locks) to your home network. You’ll need a Nest Wifi Pro, Nest Hub Max, or 2nd gen Nest Hub for that. Fast Pair support for Android should be fully rolled out by now — that was announced back in October, allowing Android devices to automatically detect nearby Matter devices and offer to set them up in Google Home.
The new software updates could come in handy for setting up Matter-compatible smart home devices — we should see more of those at CES 2023 next month and beyond — but the full promise of a seamless Matter ecosystem still hasn’t materialized yet. Many smart home devices still haven’t been updated to work with the new standard, or have no plans to do so. For example, Wyze said its cameras won’t integrate with Matter because the standard has no support for cameras right now.
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