Amazon extends Matter smart home support to older Echo speakers

Amazon’s Matter support is coming to some 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 your old speaker in the basement just to use newer smart home devices. Meanwhile, the fourth generation Echo can act as a Thread boundary router to help you add Thread-capable devices. You won’t have to use Android to set up the Matter Gear either, since iOS is now an option.

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

Amazon originally said that 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 communication format for smart home equipment. You no longer need to be selective about the products you use. However, real-world rollout has been slow — only a few smart speakers, apps, and home devices work with Matter as of this writing. Amazon’s latest move closes some gaps, but it may be a while before you simply assume that everything you own will work.

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