Google is officially bringing the near-universal smart home control standard, dubbed Matter, to its self and Nest-branded gadgets. And that’s going to include Android devices, reports indicate. That’s following an announcement made by the company in conjunction with this year’s Google I/O 2021 event.
For clarity, Matter is a standard being developed by Google alongside Apple, Amazon, Samsung, the Zigbee Alliance, and other companies. Including the most recent addition to the group, Nanoleaf. In effect, the standard seeks to take control of smart devices more universal.
So, whether a user is controlling their smart home from an Android, Fire, or iOS device, via the plethora of available apps and services, or directly from a smart speaker or hub, they will be able to control other gadgets that are using Matter standards under the hood. That’s once device makers get around to updating the software on those gadgets. Or release new ones with the support built-in.
Where is Matter coming to Google and Nest smart home and other devices?
As might be expected, Google has promised that all of its Nest displays and speakers will receive the standard via an update. And that means that Google Assistant, on those devices and via Android apps such as the Google Home app, will work to control any Matter gadget. Newer smart home products from Google are part of that promise too since Thread is built in. So those will work as Matter connection hubs too. Including the Nest Wi-Fi, Nest Hub Max, and second-gen Nest Hub.
All of which should, in theory, make it easier than ever to control the entire smart home from any device. And Google indicates that, at least for its own gadgets, the setup on that will take just a “few taps.”
This could still be quite a way out and it isn’t all necessarily great news
Now, this news about Matter support isn’t all necessarily good news.
In fact, Google only promised that entry-level Nest Thermostats are supported, saying nothing about the Nest Learning Thermostat. But, in any case, that does mean that Matter-certified platforms that aren’t Google Assistant should be able to control at least that thermostat once Matter standards are rolled out to those gadgets too. Although, like Google, companies aren’t exactly offering a solid timeframe for the rollouts either.
In the interim, Google has announced a new directory for its smart home gadgets. That will summarily list out Assistant-compatible products as well as Q&As, educational and promotional materials, and reviews for products.
Conversely, it will also be adding Nest cameras to automated routines. So users will have more control when it comes to automating their security cameras. Including when those are turned on or off, without having to manually take action.