Amazon expands Matter smart home support to older Echo speakers


Amazon’s Matter support is reaching some of its older speakers. A new Alexa update turns the second-generation Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus into Matter controllers — you don’t have to replace the old speaker in the basement just to use newer smart home devices. The fourth-generation Echo, meanwhile, can serve as a Thread border router to help you add Matter-capable Thread devices. You won’t have to use Android to set up Matter gear, either, as iOS is now an option.

There’s also good news if you’ve been curious about Eve Systems’ devices but didn’t want to invest in Apple products to enable HomeKit support. The Matter over Thread update brings Alexa control to a range of Eve hardware. Later in May, you’ll also get simplified Alexa setup for Eve Door & Window, Eve Energy and Eve Motion.

Amazon originally said 17 Echo products would support Matter over WiFi by the end of 2022. It promised compatibility with a total of 30 Echo and Eero models by early this year.

The Matter standard arrived last October and theoretically created a common connectivity format for smart home equipment. You no longer need to be as picky about the products you use. However, the real-world rollout has been slow — only some smart speakers, apps and household devices work with Matter as of this writing. Amazon’s latest move closes some gaps, but it may take some time before you can simply assume that everything you own will interoperate.

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