The era of the Matter smart home is here, despite some initial challenges. Various Matter devices from brands like Nanoleaf, Eve, TP-Link, Wiz, and Aqara are now available, with more expected to be launched in the coming months. However, integrating Matter devices into existing ecosystems has not been as seamless as expected. Despite its promise to streamline the smart home landscape, Matter has faced roadblocks in its implementation. Nevertheless, there are signs of progress.
For those looking to integrate Matter devices into their HomeKit setup, whether through Thread or Wi-Fi, using the Apple Home app can provide a smoother experience. Compatible Matter devices can be set up and running in minutes through HomeKit. Here's a checklist of how to get started with HomeKit and Matter and sync your devices to Apple Home.
First, assuming you're an iOS user with an iPad or iPhone, you should already have a HomeKit smart home system through the Apple Home app. This app becomes the "Easy Commissioner" for adding Matter devices to Apple Home. The next requirement is a Matter controller, which acts as the central brain for your Matter smart home. The following Apple devices can act as Matter controllers: HomePod (both generations), HomePod Mini, and Apple TV 4K (2021 and 2022 models). If you want to add a Matter over Thread device, the Matter controller must also serve as a Thread boundary router. Currently, the options for this are the 2nd Gen HomePod, HomePod Mini, 2021 Apple TV 4K, and the 128GB version of the 2022 Apple TV 4K.
Technically, you can add Matter devices to your HomeKit system that are already set up on different non-Apple Matter controllers, but that's a topic for another day.
To add Matter devices to Apple Home, the process is similar to adding regular HomeKit devices. You can add devices through their native apps (if they're Matter enabled), and HomeKit will handle the credentials in the background using your iCloud keychain. If you prefer adding Matter devices directly through the Apple Home app, follow these steps:
1. Turn on your Matter device.
2. Open the Apple Home app.
3. Tap the + icon in the top-right corner.
4. Choose "Add accessory."
5. Scan the Matter QR code (or enter the code manually).
6. Wait for the device to connect.
7. After pairing, name your Matter device and tap "Continue."
8. Choose the room to add the device to.
9. You're all set - you can now create automations and add your Matter smart home devices to groups, just like any other HomeKit device.
To view the Matter devices linked to your Apple Home, go to the settings menu on your iOS device, select "General," and tap "Matter Accessories." Here, you can see a list of all your Matter devices and delete them if desired.
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