Google is hard at work making sure all their smart home devices are ready for the launch of the upcoming “Matter” smart home industry standard that will be leveraging the next-gen connectivity protocol. This new standard was developed in collaboration with Amazon, Apple, Samsung SmartThings, and Zigbee as a way to reduce fragmentation and achieve interoperability among smart home devices. Google explained it best when it stated:
We’re entering a new era of the smart home built on openness and collaboration — one where you should have no problem using devices from different smart home brands to turn on your lights, warm up your living room and set your morning alarm. All of them should work together in harmony.Google Blog
However, reaching this point will not come without some sacrifices. As part of the transition, Google will need to update several of their Nest devices to be Matter controllers. The Google Hub Max, in particular, will need an update to make it compatible with this standard. Still, that same update will break some current functionality — the ability to also serve as a bridge for Nest X Yale locks and Nest Detects units.
Google explains that Nest X Yale locks and Nest Detect units (a sensor that detects when a door is opened or closed) differ in that, to save battery, they do not connect directly to WiFi. Instead, they connect to a bridge such as a Nest Connect, which can also serve as a range extender. While most users of the aforementioned devices use a Nest Connect bridge, some have opted instead to use a Nest Hub Max.
Unfortunately, the pending update to Nest Hub Max will remove its ability to support bridging or range extension. This means that users whose locks are connected to WiFi via a Nest Hub will lose connectivity and thus will be unable to lock or unlock their door with the Nest app. Similarly, those using the Nest Detect sensors connected in the same manner will notice that their devices will be out of range. This update is expected to roll out in late July.
Fortunately, for those affected, locking and unlocking the Nest x Yale lock will still be possible using the keypad. Additionally, Google says that those currently using a Nest Hub Max as a bridge for the locks, and do not own a Nest Connect or Nest Guard, should receive an email from Nest in mid-June with instructions to obtain a Nest Connect. It is unclear if there will be a discount or any sort of incentive given by the company to make this $69 purchase, but we hope that is the case.