Google Nest to combine with HomeKit, bringing smart home unification one step nearer

In response to Google, quickly Nest thermostats might be suitable with competing smart home ecosystems like Apple HomeKit. 

Jon Garnham/CNET

Within the not-too-distant future, perhaps even earlier than 2021 is out, you’ll do one thing nobody’s ever achieved earlier than: join merchandise made by Google Nest with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, shortly, simply and — get this — immediately. Or, you may wish to incorporate Google units into your Amazon Alexa-controlled smart home as an alternative. That’ll be effective, too. 

In actual fact, this newfound potential to hyperlink beforehand incompatible units will work in any path, that means you will additionally be capable of arrange Amazon’s Ring doorbells or Blink cameras in your Google-based smart home — and management them the identical approach you’ll utilizing Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

No janky workarounds, no third-party companies like IFTTT to bridge the hole. Simply you, your smart home gadgets and the smart home platform of your selecting, all residing in concord.

Sound like fantasy? It will not be, if Google’s imaginative and prescient of the smart home’s future, outlined in a weblog put up revealed final week, comes true. 


Traditionally, Apple’s digital voice assistant Siri hasn’t labored nicely with units made by Google.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

In response to Google, communication will ultimately open up between Google-made units and rival firms’ smart home ecosystems and merchandise because of Google’s adoption of a new connectivity normal known as Matter, (previously referred to as Mission CHIP).

“All Nest shows and audio system, just like the Nest Hub and Nest Mini, might be mechanically up to date to regulate Matter units,” in response to the weblog put up. “Plus, we’ll replace the most recent Nest Thermostat to help Matter — that means for the primary time it may be managed on different platforms which have licensed with Matter.” 

A look at Matter’s companion record gives a clue as to what “different platforms” which will embrace: Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung’s SmartThings — plus units and companies from the likes of Signify’s Philips Hue, Comcast, Huawei and extra.

Matter smart device logo on a networked light bulb

The three-arrow Matter brand proven on this sensible mild bulb signifies smart-home tech that may work nicely with different Matter-certified units.

Connectivity Requirements Alliance/Illustration by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google Senior Mission Supervisor Kevin Po confirmed this function in an interview with CNET. Talking particularly concerning the newest Nest Thermostat, he mentioned, “If a consumer chooses to have it arrange and interoperate with one other platform, then we’ll help them by it.”

When will this courageous new world come to fruition? Not till later this 12 months, or perhaps even early 2022, in response to the Connectivity Requirements Alliance, which developed the Matter normal. However preparations are underway already.

Google’s thoughts is made up on Matter

Google particularly has gotten out forward of the pack on this one. The corporate has detailed a few of the steps it is at present taking — or will take quickly — to prepared its Google Nest smart home gadgets and Android cellular working system for Matter’s primetime debut.

Android 12 logo

Finally, Google’s Android cellular working system will get Matter integrations that permit for streamlined setup and machine controls.

James Martin/CNET

For starters, not solely will the complete line of present Google Nest sensible audio system and shows obtain an replace to regulate Matter units, a few of Google’s extra well-equipped gadgets may even function connection factors, aka hubs. 

Principally, the Nest Wifi router, the most recent Nest Hub and the flagship Nest Hub Max will use a technology Google helped develop — known as Thread and a part of the Matter normal — to hook up with different Thread-enabled units in a approach that is even quicker and safer than Wi-Fi alone.

“Thread is nice for low-powered, mesh, dependable, scalable communication,” mentioned Po. However most cellular units cannot talk immediately with Thread gadgets. “Say you needed your telephone to interoperate with, say, a Thread machine,” Po added. “You want a particular sort of Thread machine that may type of bridge between Wi-Fi and Thread, proper, to offer that connectivity.” That is the place Thread connection factors are available.


The brand new second-generation Nest Hub makes use of a technology known as Thread to speak with different Thread-enabled smart home gadgets.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Another notable strides Google introduced embrace:

  • A brand new smart home listing, together with a catalog of Hey Google-compatible smart home units in addition to out there Google Assistant Actions, aka instructions that Google’s digital voice assistant can carry out.
  • Assist for an open-source communication protocol known as WebRTC, which Google says reduces latency and improves video and audio streaming between safety and doorbell cameras, TVs, sensible shows and cellular units.
  • Extra expansive choices for Residence & Away Routines, permitting for the automation of Nest cameras and thermostats in addition to sensible lights, plugs and switches based mostly on whether or not or not anybody’s dwelling.

Finally, Google expects to implement the Matter normal deeply inside its Android cellular working system. The objective might be to simplify the Matter-certified smart home machine setup course of right down to only a few faucets and to offer methods to immediately management new units with out having to obtain further apps.

“With Android, we’ll be really constructing the Matter performance into Google Play companies, and so it’s going to successfully be an app that different Android apps can leverage and actually type of make it very easy for a consumer to arrange a Matter machine,” Po mentioned.

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