Amazon was one of the first major smart home brands to back Matter, the universal smart home standard. Now, it says that 17 Echo devices will gain Matter support through an update this December—but there are a few disappointing footnotes to this plan.
For one, Amazon hasn’t specified which Echo devices will gain Matter compatibility. We know that this December update includes most Echo smart speakers, though it will also roll out to some unspecified smart plugs, lights, and switches.
And more frustratingly, 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 expand the range and speed of your smart home). You also can’t set up Matter on these devices without an Android phone, which is odd.
Amazon says that Thread and iOS support will arrive in a future update. Still, it’s odd to see the “universal smart home standard” arrive in such a clunky manner—is this is what the early years of Matter will look like?
Still, Amazon is one of Matter’s biggest contributors. The company says that it will force all future “Works with Alexa” devices to pass Matter certification, which is a pretty significant development. Additionally, an upcoming Alexa framework (which should arrive in 2023) promises to help customers build a Thread network using either Amazon or Samsung smart devices.