The promise of Matter—the future where smart-home devices easily nestle into your home, regardless of what other devices or speakers you use—just got a bit closer today. Google announced that Nest and Android devices are Matter-enabled, allowing them to set up and control other Matter devices—that mostly don’t exist yet.
If your Android device runs version 8.1 or higher and has Google Play Service 22.48.14 or newer, you can use it to pair a Matter-compatible device with other Matter products and controllers. In these early post-launch Matter days, that means you can pair a few Eve devices that got their Matter firmware update three days ago. Or you can wait on a few Nanoleaf bulbs, some Level smart locks, or whatever else is to come. Nest devices that have quietly received their latest firmware updates can now be used to control that same (quite limited) set of devices.
The appeal of the moment is that you could, technically, use an Android phone to put an Eve device onto your Matter network, then use an iOS Home app, Samsung’s SmartThings, or an Alexa speaker (when those are updated in early 2023) to actually control that device. Alternatively, devices you brought onto the network with an iOS device could be controlled from a Google Nest Hub or speaker or other Nest device.
Google also announced that it has added “Matter support for Fast Pair on Android.” As best as we can tell, this means that when a Matter device is nearby (advertising itself over Bluetooth), a pop-up prompt and network-adding flow that’s similar to the one Google uses for Pixel Buds and other friendly devices will walk you through getting your device onto your network—with a nudge toward using Google Home to control it. As Google notes in its blog post, you should look for devices with a Matter badge to ensure compatibility, but “also look for the Works with Google Home badge” to ensure they “work well with Google devices.”
More helpfully for any future Matter home, the Nest Wifi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and second-generation Nest Hub should now be working as Thread border routers, expanding Thread coverage in your home, even if you’re not using Google Home to control it.
The Nest Mini, Audio, first and second-gen Hubs, Max, and Wifi Pro, along with the Google Home and Google Home Mini, are receiving Matter controller support first. The Nest Wifi, Hub Max, and Learning Thermostat are slated to be updated in 2023.