Android and iOS take big steps towards launching Matter Smart Home compatibility


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Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that Apple and Google helped create. | Image: CSA

It’s getting closer. With the release of the iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 developer betas today, we have confirmation that “Matter Accessories” are on their way to Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Additionally, Google’s Google Home Developer Console, which helps developers add Matter devices to its 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 one or the other. another using the voice assistant or smart home app of your choice. At this year’s WWDC, 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 the iPadOS 16.1 developer beta.
A screenshot of the Settings page on an Apple iPad running the iPadOS 16.1 developer beta.

A new options menu has appeared in Settings > General on iPads and iPhones running the beta. Spotted by aaron zolloit lists “Matter accessories” and, when tapped, takes you to a list of Matter accessories that have been added to “a connected service”.

Only, there are no Matter compatible accessories yet, the Matter standard not being finalized. But it’s a sure sign that developers and makers are testing software in preview ahead of Matter’s scheduled launch this fall.

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

This demo highlighted one of Matter’s main features – multi-admin control – which is hinted at in beta versions of iOS and iPadOS. This allows devices to have multiple masters, so you can ask Siri to turn off your Nest thermostat or ask a Google Nest Hub to control your Amazon smart plug.

Apple has been involved in Matter since its inception as one of its founding members, alongside Google, Samsung and Amazon. All three smartphone makers have publicly stated that their smartphones and tablets will be Matter controllers, meaning they can integrate Matter devices into your smart home network.

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

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

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