Aqara are one of the first companies to begin the rollout of the new Matter royalty-free home automation standard.
Matter is a new connectivity standard for IoT devices to enable a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across brands and ecosystems. Via an M2 hub with this new firmware, the Aqara Zigbee devices will be able to connect to the Matter-ready, third-party apps over Wi-Fi. But this firmware won't update the Zigbee devices to support Thread.
At first, it will only be the Aqara M2 Hub that will receive the update and the rollout appears to be incremental. When you log in to the app, you will be given the option to upgrade to the firmware version 4.0.0 (beta). When I tried, it was only V3.5 that is available.
It's estimated to take 4-6 weeks for all the M2 hubs to receive the firmware update. Other Aqara hubs, including the Hub M1S/M1S Gen 2, Hub E1, Camera Hub G3 and Camera Hub G2H Pro will receive similar firmware updates in the following months.
Aqara has provided a guide to make sure the upgrade goes as smoothly as possible:
Users are strongly urged to check the requirements carefully before proceeding:
- Please ensure the Aqara Home app is up-to-date (version 3.0.8 or higher), and connected to one of the global servers outside Mainland China;
- Please bind at least 1 Zigbee device to the M2 hub before binding the M2 to any third-party platforms via Matter;
- Please ensure the M2 hub, the Matter controller devices (e.g. HomePod mini, Nest Hubs, etc.) and the mobile phone with Matter-ready app are on the same local network (same SSID);
- If users intend to bind the M2 hub to Apple Home via Matter, please ensure the firmware version of Apple devices (e.g. iPhone, HomePod mini) is up-to-date (version 16.3 or higher).
Please also note that binding existing devices to Matter won't require users to reset everything. Users can keep using HomeKit (suggested), and connect Aqara devices to other system(s) via Matter.
Matter is a new standard, and Aqara knows that the Matter experiences of Aqara devices still has a number of limitations.
- At this stage, we have 40+ Aqara devices that are able to connect with Matter via the M2 hub (please refer to this list). And only the global versions of these devices are guaranteed to get Matter support, as the Chinese versions of some of the devices may not be supported at the moment.
- In case of connecting the devices to Apple Home via Matter, please note that it is very sensitive to the Wi-Fi router quality and signal. If the signal is not strong enough, it will often show “No response”.
- To add the devices to Google Home via Matter, users need to have one of Google Home or Nest devices as a Matter controller (please refer to this blog). Also, users need to have an Android phone for the Matter-ready Google Home app, as Google Home on iOS devices does not support Matter yet.
- Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings do not support Matter Bridge (such as Hub M2) device type yet, and cannot connect the Zigbee devices that are connected to the M2 via Matter at the moment.
- The new firmware is a BETA version, and it may has some bugs which may cause unexpected impact in some cases. If happens, please try to unbind from Matter and re-add the hub to Matter app.