Android and iOS take big steps towards launching Matter smart home compatibility

The Matter Logo
Matter is a new interoperability standard for smart homes that both Apple and Google helped create. | Image: CSA

It is coming closer. With the developer betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 released today, we have confirmation that Matter Accessories is on its way to Apple iPhones and iPads. Plus, Google’s Google Home Developer Console, which helps developers add Matter devices to their smart home platform, also went live today.

Matter is a new smart home connectivity standard that promises to unify all your connected devices, making it easier for your smart thermostat to talk to your connected door lock and for you to talk to either one using a voice assistant or smart home. app you choose. At WWDC this year, Apple announced that iOS 16 would support Matter, and now we’re seeing the first implementations.

A screenshot of the settings page on an Apple iPad running iPadOS 16.1 developer beta.
A screenshot of the settings page on an Apple iPad running iPadOS 16.1 developer beta.

A new options menu has appeared in Settings > General on both iPads and iPhones running the beta. Spotted by Aaron Zolloit mentions “Matter accessories” and when you tap on it, it will take you to a list of Matter accessories that have been added to “a connected service”.

Only there are no Matter-compatible accessories yet, because the Matter standard is not yet final. But this is a sure sign that developers and manufacturers are testing prerelease software ahead of Matter’s expected launch this fall.

We saw some beta Matter devices in action at the IFA tech conference earlier this month. Eve Systems showed off its smart plug which is controlled by Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings.

That demo highlighted one of Matter’s core features—multiple admin control—which is suggested in the iOS and iPadOS betas. This allows devices to have multiple masters, so you can ask Siri to turn down your Nest thermostat or let a Google Nest Hub control your Amazon smart plug.

Apple has been involved with Matter since it first started as one of its founding members, along with Google, Samsung, and Amazon. All three smartphone manufacturers have publicly stated that their smartphone and tablet devices will be Matter controllers, meaning they can add Matter devices to your smart home network.

Some screenshots that have also surfaced today indicate that Google is well on its way to adding a Matter Accessories section to its operating system. android police reports for some users, a Matter Devices & Services section has appeared in the Google account settings, with a prompt to connect a new Matter device and the option to automatically show a notification when Matter devices are nearby . This refers to another key feature of Matter: a streamlined, more unified setup for smart home devices.

All this activity makes it increasingly likely that Matter will achieve its goal of a fall launch, despite multiple previous delays.

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