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 was officially launched in October, after more than two years of development by a large group of technology companies (the Connectivity Standards Alliance), including Google. It took a while longer, but Google is rolling out Matter support for all of 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 act 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 now act 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. This should see the full rollout of Fast Pair support for Android – announced back in October, which allows 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 an ecosystem hasn’t materialized Matter without a seam completed yet. Many smart home devices have not yet been updated to work with the new standard, or have no plans to do so. For example, Wyze said its cameras will not integrate with Matter because the standard currently has no support for cameras.