Nest Thermostat update could finally kickstart the Matter smart home era

Nest Thermostat E
(Image credit: Techradar)

A big update for the Nest Thermostat, and a big leap forward for the Matter smart home standard, will now make it possible for the smart home gadget to work natively with Apple Home. This will unlock so many possibilities for the thermostat which, although it launched back in 2020, has been given a new lease of life for users to benefit from.

The Nest Thermostat is the first smart thermostat to support the new Matter connected standard. Since the over-air update arrived yesterday (April 18) the thermostat is now compatible with any Matter smart home platform over Wi-Fi. The rollout will continue over the next few weeks according to a post on the Google Nest community page so if you're yet to receive the update, don't worry: changes are coming.

In a nutshell, this new compatibility means that owners of the Nest Thermostat owners – one of the best smart thermostats – can now adjust the temperature, change the thermostat's mode and control the fan with multiple Matter-certified smart home platforms and apps such as Samsung SmartThings and Amazon Alexa.

After the update, you will see a new Matter settings page appear on the Nest Thermostat and in the Google Home app settings page. From here, you'll have the option to pair the smart thermostat to any other Matter ecosystem using a Matter pairing code. 

Although the iOS version of the Google Home app doesn't currently support Matter, you can still access the Matter pairing code from the thermostat. This means adding the device to Apple Home will still be possible while you wait for Matter support to be rolled out to the iOS Google Home app. Android users with the Google Home app needn't worry about this workaround because that version is supported by Matter.

Analysis: A much-needed boost for Matter

Matter on Google devices

(Image credit: Google)

This announcement comes not a minute too soon for the Matter 1.0 standard, which has faced some resistance from brands in terms of adoption and a few teething issues along the way. 

The idea behind Matter is a fantastic one; to make smart home devices faster, more secure and a whole lot easier to set up and use across ecosystems using the home Wi-Fi. The execution, though, has been a little slow off the mark.

When we caught up with Google last year we were told that its goal is to make any Nest device that is Matter-capable compliant with the standard and to bring Matter to more device types in the future. 

Michele Turner, Senior Director of Google Smart Home Ecosystem, said: "We are actively working to ensure that all Nest speakers, displays, and Wi-Fi are updated to act as Matter Controllers for Google Home”. 

“We want to make sure virtually every user with a Google Home ecosystem is ready for Matter devices and to make it easy for new users to adopt,” she added.

At Google I/O 2022, the company also announced that its Google HomeGoogle Home MiniGoogle Nest MiniGoogle Nest HubGoogle Nest Hub (2nd generation)Google Nest Hub MaxGoogle Nest Audio, and Google Nest Wifi devices would all support Matter.

Alongside video doorbells, smart thermostats are one of the most popular smart home devices for the home, so the deployment of Matter to the Nest Thermostat could be the boost that the alliance has been waiting for. 

We'll just have to see if this improves the user experience for existing customers, entices new fans to pick up the gadget, and instills confidence in this (very) new tech space.

Jennifer Oksien
Editor, Top Ten Reviews

Jennifer (Jenny) is currently the editor of Top Ten Reviews, but prior to that, she was TechRadar's Homes Editor. She has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UK's leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.