Amazon was one of the first major smart home brands to endorse Matter, the universal smart home standard. Word is now that 17 Echo devices will get Matter support through a December update — but there are a few disappointing footnotes to that plan.
For one, Amazon hasn’t specified which Echo devices will get Matter compatibility. We know this December update will include most of the Echo smart speakers, although it’s also rolling out for some unspecified smart plugs, lights and switches.
And what’s even more frustrating is that this December update only includes Wi-Fi over Matter. It doesn’t enable thread functionality, which is a hallmark of the Matter protocol (plus, Thread can extend the range and speed of your smart home). You also can’t set up Matter on these devices without an Android phone, which is weird.
Amazon says Thread and iOS support will arrive in a future update. Still, it’s strange to see the “universal smart home standard” arriving in such a clunky fashion – is this what Matter’s early years will look like?
Still, Amazon is one of the biggest contributors to Matter. The company says it will force all future Works with Alexa devices to pass Matter certification, which is a pretty significant development. Additionally, an upcoming Alexa framework (due to arrive in 2023) promises to help customers build a threaded network with smart devices from Amazon or Samsung.
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