Skip to main content

Google shares its commitment to Matter, promises future interoperability between smart home platforms

Google shares its commitment to Matter, promises future interoperability between smart home platforms

/

But we still have to wait until 2022 for anything to change

Share this story

Google’s Nest Hub 2nd Gen has a Thread radio built-in that will be updated in 2022 to enable Matter support.
Google’s Nest Hub 2nd Gen has a Thread radio built-in that will be updated in 2022 to enable Matter support.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Google gave a glimpse into how the new smart home standard Matter might actually work in our smart homes today, and it’s looking pretty exciting. At its Google Smart Home Developer Summit, the company announced new tools to help developers build devices that work with both Google Home, the new connectivity standard Matter, and across any other Matter-complaint ecosystems. This means that, yes — one day, very soon — the (new) Nest Thermostat could work in the Apple Home app without the need for Home Assistant or other workarounds. And if those two can work together, well, anyone can.

Due to arrive next year, Matter is an open smart home application protocol that promises to make smart home devices talk to each other no matter who made them. It wants to take the hard work out of choosing, setting up, and integrating devices with your smart home and voice assistants.

“Matter is a very big initiative for us,” Kevin Po, Senior Product Manager at Google, told me in a briefing ahead of today’s announcements. “It will really solve that interoperability choice, that frustrating purchasing and setup experience for the user.”

At the Smart Home Summit, Google shared images of how device set-up may work with Matter-enabled devices across different apps.
At the Smart Home Summit, Google shared images of how device set-up may work with Matter-enabled devices across different apps.
Image: Google

At the event, the company doubled down on its commitment to supporting Matter and its main supporting protocol, Thread (a low-powered mesh network), across its entire ecosystem. It also revealed a new name for its smart home efforts: Google Home. While consumers have been familiar with that moniker for a while, on the backend, developers have dealt with a myriad of different services they needed to understand and pick through to figure out how to make their device work with Google Assistant and Google Nest devices. 

The new Google Home brings development for device setup, automation capabilities, voice control, and Android and Google Nest devices under one umbrella. The new name is “for our entire smart home platform and developer program,” said Michele Turner, Senior Director of Product for Google’s Smart Home Ecosystem, during the event’s keynote.

A new Google Home Developer Center was also announced. A one-stop shop for developing anything smart home-related, the Developer Center introduces some new tools to help accelerate the adoption of Matter in the smart home.

A Google Home Device SDK for Matter can help developers quickly build and integrate Matter devices so they’ll be ready when the standard launches next year. This is also when Google has committed to updating its Nest and Android devices with Matter support.

Native Android Support via Google Play Services and a new Google Home Mobile SDK will bring Matter support to mobile devices and apps to help streamline smart home device set up. This should mean setting up a Matter-enabled device — such as a light bulb or smart plug — will be as simple as powering it up and opening an app (either Google Home or the manufacturer’s app). The app will then do most of the heavy lifting of connecting to Wi-Fi and Thread, and any other Matter devices you have. 

The Google Home Developer Center launches next year.
The Google Home Developer Center launches next year.
Image: Google

There are a lot of questions still around Matter — but from what Google revealed today, it seems that while a unified setup experience is coming, a unified app is not on the cards. There won’t be a Matter-branded app that you can put all your devices into — instead, you can choose to use one or more apps from a Matter-enabled ecosystem to control your home with. This is similar to how HomeKit-enabled devices work with Apple’s smart home now — you can use Apple’s Home app or a third-party app to control them. Each app will likely offer different features and controls based on how the manufacturers look to differentiate themselves, so you can choose which suits your needs best. Whether you have to install the manufacturer’s app for firmware updates or other reasons is not clear yet.

The most important thing for smart home users is that all Matter-enabled devices will work with all apps that support Matter. So, if Apple opens up its Home app to Matter (and it is on the board of the CSA, which oversees the initiative), and Google turns on Matter support in its Nest Thermostat — you will be able to control it in the Apple Home app. “If they are compliant from a Matter of perspective, there’s no reason why that can’t be possible,” confirmed Po.

In other Google Home news, the company announced the introduction of Suggested Routines in the Google Home app. This should go some way to bringing back more of the functionality third-party device makers lost when the Works With Nest program shut down (some of which returned with the Home / Away presence sensing option introduced at this event last year).

Suggested Routines will let manufacturers build their own Routines (which enable your devices to automatically activate) in the Google Home app to interact with both Nest devices and any other third-party devices you have linked to the app. They’ll be able to use what Google calls “context signals” — voice, time, and device/sensor state — to trigger the Routines.

Google is sharing details on its announcements from the Google Smart Home Developer Summit on its blog. Most of the new tools are available in preview now and rolling out next year.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 38 minutes ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

M
The Verge
Mary Beth Griggs38 minutes ago
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothAn hour ago
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
E
Twitter
Emma Roth7:16 PM UTC
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom7:13 PM UTC
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard Lawler6:54 PM UTC
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.