Google has announced that it will be bringing Matter support to Android and “capable” Nest products. Matter is the new smart home standard developed by an alliance of over 180 companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, and 180 other companies.
Previously known as Project CHIP, the alliance aims to develop a common smart home standard with complete device and platform interoperability.
Android and Nest Products to Gain Matter Support
Matter support will be built into Android, which will allow one to set up compatible devices in just a few taps using their phone and Google account. This will also allow you to control your Matter devices through a multitude of ways, including Google Assistant, the Google Home app, the Power menu in Android, and other Matter-compatible apps.
In its announcement on The Keyword, Google also confirmed that Matter would work with Thread, another smart home technology that allows smart home products to talk to each other, which is also backed by Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and others. You can find more information on what Thread is and what it means for your smart home here.
Nest products with Thread support like the Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max, and the second-generation Nest Hub will act as Matter connection hubs, thereby creating a stronger and faster connection. Google will automatically update all Nest displays and speakers to control Matter devices, irrespective of whether they use Wi-Fi, Thread, or ethernet.
Additionally, the Nest Thermostat will also be updated to support Matter. This is a big deal as it will allow one to control their Nest Thermostat using Alexa, Siri, or other Matter-certified platforms. There’s no word on whether the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat will gain this integration or not.
Google, however, has not given any timeline on when the update will be rolled out. The first Matter-compatible smart home products are scheduled to go on sale later this year, so the update from Google should also roll out around the same time.
Improved Smart Home Experience
Google is also improving the existing smart home experience with two major new changes. Firstly, to improve the audio/video streaming experience between security cameras, video doorbells, smart displays, etc., and smartphones, it has added WebRTC support to reduce the latency. This means Google Assistant will now be able to quickly bring up the stream from your security cameras or video doorbell.
For now, Arlo, Logitech, Netatmo, and Wyze have added WebRTC support for Google Assistant, with other companies jumping on the bandwagon in the coming weeks.
Secondly, Google is improving the Home and Away Routines in Assistant by adding Nest cameras and thermostats support. This means the Away routine can automatically enable your Nest security cameras and turn off the thermostat when you leave your home. Similarly, the Home routine can automatically trigger and disable your security cameras when you come back home.