Google announced today that it has completed the initial rollout of Matter to its Google Nest products and Android OS. This means the Matter smart home standard, first developed by Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and others, now has the foundation in place to start delivering on its ambitious promises: interoperability, simplicity, security, and a smart home that just works.
Over the past few weeks, Google has updated millions of Google Nest smart speakers, displays, and Wi-Fi routers as well as billions of Android phones and tablets to Matter. The company says the transition will be completed today, December 15th. Android devices need to run Android 8.1 and up and Google Play Services 22.48.14, while Google Nest devices need the latest firmware updates. The update means that Android and Google Home users can now connect Google devices with Matter devices from other manufacturers.
Along with the Google Home app and Android OS, these Nest devices are the first to gain Matter support as Matter controllers:
- Nest Mini
- Nest Audio
- Nest Hub (first-gen)
- Nest Hub (second-gen)
- Nest Hub Max
- Nest Wifi Pro
- Google Home
- Google Home Mini
Google says more Nest devices — including Nest Wifi and the Nest Thermostat (2020 model) — will be updated in 2023. The update also turns the Nest Wifi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and the Nest Hub (second-gen) into Thread border routers.
Matter devices can connect to your home network over Wi-Fi or Thread. Those that use Thread need a Thread border router to communicate with non-Thread devices and the internet.
Google also announced it will bring Matter support to its iOS app in early 2023. Currently, you can only use an Android device to pair Matter devices to Google Home. But once a device is on your home network, you can control it with any Matter-compatible iOS app, including Google Home.
As part of the update, Fast Pair on Android is also gaining Matter support to help you quickly add a new gadget to the Google Home app or other Matter-compatible apps — such as Samsung SmartThings.
Google is the third of the big four smart home platforms to enable Matter control on its devices and mobile phones, after Apple and Samsung. Amazon has said it will enable its smart speakers and displays as Matter controllers over Wi-Fi by the end of the year, with Thread support coming in 2023.
The first device categories that will work with Matter include smart plugs, switches and bulbs, smart thermostats, motorized window shades, and smart locks. You’ll be able to recognize them thanks to the new Matter badge, which indicates it will work out of the box with Google Home and any Matter platform.
But don’t say goodbye to that Works With Google Home badge just yet. If a company has “integrated and tested their products with Google,” it will also have the Works With Google Home badge. Yep, badges are still a thing. What exactly this will mean in terms of different functionality in different apps remains to be seen.
We’re still waiting on Matter devices
While we now have a host of Matter controllers — including Google’s speakers and displays, HomePod Minis, Samsung SmartThings hubs, and Amazon Echo speakers and displays coming later this year — we don’t have many things to actually control with them yet. (No, you can’t control your HomePod Mini with your Google Home app or your Nest Hub Max with your Apple Home app, smart speakers aren’t a device category in Matter yet).
As of Monday, December 12th, there are only three devices from Eve that work with Matter. But more devices are coming. We’ve rounded up all of the announced Matter-compatible products here, and we expect to see a deluge of new products and updates to existing ones announced at CES next month.
Once there are more gadgets to play with, Matter’s Multi-Admin feature will allow those devices to work cross-platform. This will mean you can do things like control your Google Nest Thermostat (2020 model) in the Apple Home app. (There’s still no word on if Google will update the Nest Learning Thermostat to Matter.)
While all of this might be very confusing to anyone who hasn’t been following it closely over the last three years, the point of Matter is to make setting up and using your smart home devices a lot simpler. Will it, though? We’ll start finding out soon.