Matter can solve the worst of HomeKit

Cupertino, January 7, 2022

Of the smart home platforms, Apple's HomeKit is probably my third favorite, after Alexa and SmartThings. With HomeKit, you can create a surprising number of smart routines to make your various smart home devices work together — far more than you can with Google Home, in fact. There's one problem with Apple's smart home platform, though: there just aren't enough things that work with HomeKit. That point was driven home with the announcement at CES 2022 of the Eve Outdoor Cam and the Wemo Smart Video Doorbell. They represent respectively the second outdoor video camera and the third video doorbell to work with HomeKit Secure Video. And they are both very expensive - $249 each. Meanwhile, if you want one of the best video doorbells that works with Alexa, you can spend just $49. At least the news is better for HomeKit in terms of smart locks. With the announcement of the new Schlage Encode Plus, there are now four smart locks that are HomeKit compatible. The same goes for other smart home categories: smart switches, smart plugs, smart thermostats — there's just very little choice for homeowners who rely on HomeKit, and what's out there isn't necessarily the best, or needs a different appliance. Want to use the Nest Learning Thermostat with HomeKit? You will have to use the Starling Home Hub as a temporary solution. However, there is hope on the horizon. Many of the announcements at CES included support for Matter, the new smart home protocol that should make it easier for devices to work with any smart home platform, including HomeKit. Here are some of the big names that have announced products or pledged their support for Matter at CES.Xfinity's new Wi-Fi 6 Advanced Gateway, which will be available in the coming months, will act as a Matter hub and an immediate upgrade for the thousands of people who use Comcast for their Internet service. Sengled, which launched a light strip as well as a rather creepy lamp that can follow you when you sleep, also said it plans to support the new standard. Cync's new smart thermostat, security camera and smart bulbs support MatterWemo's range of smart plugs work with Matter - although to be fair, Wemo already works with HomeKit. Schlage's aforementioned smart lock — which won a Tom's Guide CES 2022 Award — will also work with Matter. Arlo, which finally announced its DIY home security system, joined the Matter Alliance. Just as importantly, Amazon announced additional developer support for Matter devices, including "Frustration-free installation" for such devices. While this has been around since 2018 and is used for all Alexa smart speakers, it is now expanding to include Matter products. It also adds a feature that allows Alexa to connect to Matter devices via the cloud or on a local network - useful if your internet connection goes down but you still want to control your smart home devices. Having something to do with HomeKit, Amazon's commitment to Matter could be a greater incentive for other smart home device manufacturers to update their products to support the standard — which is a step closer to making them compatible with HomeKit as well. . only things announced at CES 2022; be sure to check out all the winners of the Tom's Guide CES 2022 Awards. Today's best Apple HomePod mini deals

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