Matter, the smart home standard that promises to unify us all, continues its slow and steady release across platforms. Google is the next to announce compatibility for its Nest devices and Android phones.
Now you can use existing gadgets like the Nest Mini and even the original Google Home speaker as a hub of sorts for connecting Matter smart devices. The Nest Wifi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and second-gen Nest Hub can be used as “border routers” since they serve as indicators of the perimeter of your smart home.
Android is also getting its long-promised pairing abilities. You’ll be able to use Fast Pair to get a connected gadget on the network using the Google Home app, which is in its own little makeover stage right now.
The Matter standard was officially launched in October. Though there are only a few Matter-compatible devices on the market right now—things like sensors, smart locks, and smart bulbs—we expect a torrent of compatible devices to be revealed early next year.
Google states that it’s “enabling more Nest devices with Matter” in the new year. The company is also working on adding iOS support through the Google Home app for those opting to stay within the Google app ecosystem (Apple lets you connect to Matter devices through iOS’s Home app). And it’s partnered with Samsung, its biggest ally in smartphones, to build a “smoother” Multi-Admin experience for 2023—something that will make it easy to flip between Samsung’s SmartThings and the Google Home app.
The smart home has been pretty stagnant for the last year, partly because companies and consumers have been waiting for this new standard to pan out. We’re still not quite there, even with the big brands already supporting Matter. But we expect to see all the new devices that sync up next month at CES 2023.
Updated 12/16/2022 at 7:30 P.M.: Clarified that only three particular Google devices could serve as border routers and that the company did not state it would turn Nest devices into border routers.