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Google moves forward with Matter for smart home developers

As major smart home brands gear up for unification under the Matter protocol, Google is building a suite of tools for smart home developers.

Matter smart home device certification logo

The Matter logo signifies smart-home devices that will get along well with each other and with Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant.

Connectivity Standards Alliance; illustration by Stephen Shankland/CNET

At the Google Smart Home Developer Summit today, the company announced new tools and features for developers ready to jump into building devices compatible with Matter, the open smart home application protocol promising to serve as a new, universal language for the connected home. The protocol is slated for a 2022 release, with support not just from Google, but also from Amazon, Apple, Samsung and others.

Here's an overview of what was announced. 

Read more: Make way for Matter, the smart home's would-be skeleton key

A new Google Home

Google is reinventing its smart home platform. The Google Home name will stay the same, but Google is adding tools under the Google Home roof in the form of the Google Home Developer Center.

This is where developers will be able to go for the tools they need to build smart home devices, applications and automations. The refresh redesigns the developer site and console, upgrading navigation and self-service tools for developers and business teams. 

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Google

Highlights of the Developer Center include:

  • Building Matter devices
  • Customizing the setup of your devices in Android and the Google Home app
  • Creating automations and routines
  • Building Android apps with Matter
  • Testing and certification
  • New tools for analytics and performance monitoring

Inside the center, developers will find helpful tools like suggested routines for their devices and the option to add specific branding to user experiences. The Google Home Developer Center will launch early next year.

Matter integrating new software developer kits

When Matter launches, Google plans to update Nest and Android devices with Matter support. This includes Nest speakers and displays, Google Assistant and Android devices. 

Support for Matter will also be added to the Google Home Developer Center, and Google plans to roll out new tools for Matter development across Google Home and Android, including two new software development kits.

Google Home Device SDK for Matter devices

The first is the Google Home Device SDK. An open-source, Matter-specification SDK will help developers create Matter-ready devices. Developers will be united in their code base, but there will be plenty of ways to customize their creations.

The Google Home Device SDK is made to complement Google's existing open-source libraries and is designed to simplify building Matter devices. This includes configuring a device with Google Assistant, improving quality with logging and adding tools to interact and test with other Google devices.

Google Home Mobile SDK

In addition to the Home Device SDK, Google announced the Home Mobile SDK. This includes native Android support via Google Play Services. Google is building Matter directly into Android, enabling you to connect Matter devices over Wi-Fi and Thread.

Developers will be able to customize this setup process with branding and descriptions of specific devices. The idea is to reduce the device setup to just a few taps and send the device straight into the Google Home app and Android controls for their smart home without the need for account linking.