Google Home is back - this time it’s a smart platform for developers0
Now it seems that the company is not ready to let the Google Home brand name go (it sounds so cozy), and it is returning as a name for Google’s smart home developer platform and tools. That might sound even more confusing but bear with us - we’ll try to clarify the matter as much as we can.
Google Home = Google Smart Home + Works with Google/Nest
If you’re already familiar with the Google Smart Home platform, you’ll get this fairly easily. Google is just rebranding this platform to Google Home, while also incorporating all Work with Google/Nest device partnerships, its developer program, and of course, the Matter smart home protocol under this new-old name.
According to Google, this strategy will simplify things for developers, resulting in much greater support and more devices for people to use in their smart homes.
Google Home Developer Center
There’s a new website to aggregate all the information, including a new console too - the Google Home Developer Center. The redesigned site is scheduled to launch in Spring 2022, and when it does, developers will have all resources to build new devices or develop software and services for existing ones.
Everything will be nested (pun intended) under the same roof - development, deployment, analytics, testing and certification, performance monitoring, etc.
Furthermore, the Google Home Development Center will include some brand-new tools for developers to use in compliance with the Matter initiative. These tools include two new SDKs - the Home Device SDK for Matter and the Google Home Mobile SDK. But wait, what’s Google Matter?
When it comes to Matter things become even more frustrating. What is Build With Matter exactly? According to Google’s official site - “it’s an industry–unifying standard that promises reliable, secure connectivity—a seal of approval that devices will work seamlessly together, today and tomorrow. Matter is creating more connections between more objects, simplifying development for manufacturers and increasing compatibility for consumers.”
There are some big names in this Matter alliance, including Amazon, Google, and Apple, with Samsung working on its own SmartThings platform that will be compatible with Matter. There are more than 100 other companies involved in the project, building everything from smart bulbs to different kinds of sensors.
What does it mean for you?
All of the above sounds extremely complicated. But it’s actually not for the end user. As Google explains in a blog post:
“Android will be one of the leading operating systems with built-in support for Matter, letting you quickly set up devices with Google and link your favourite Android apps. You’ll only need a few taps to set up your Matter devices, and you’ll have lots of ways to instantly control them such as Matter-enabled Android apps, Google Assistant, the Google Home app, Android Power Controls and compatible Google devices. It also allows over one billion Android devices to enable simple setup and control all Matter-certified products.”
Long story short, your home is getting a lot smarter and you’ll be able to control it seamlessly with your phone. You won’t need different apps for your smart bulbs, smart thermostat, security camera systems, etc. The first devices with support for Matter are expected next year but Google will be adding support to existing devices with a series of updates.