Smart home company Eve in December began rolling out a firmware update that adds Matter support for Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window. I’ve been testing the new Matter integration to see how the devices work with a default HomeKit setup.
I have the Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window accessories, all of which were released a while ago but updated to work with Matter. If you are not familiar with Matter, it is a newly released smart home standard that has been adopted by Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon and other smart home manufacturers. Matter is designed to allow smart home accessories to be added to any smart home platform that supports the Matter standard.
Therefore, Eve’s Matter-enabled devices can be added to HomeKit or can be used with Google and Amazon smart home platforms, and iPhone and Android smartphone users in the same household can control the accessories with their respective devices. . HomeKit, on the other hand, is Apple-only and needs to be accessed from an Apple device.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the specifics of the Eve accessories, as this review is primarily for the Matter experience, but I’ll give you a quick rundown. Eve Motion is a motion detector designed to allow you to activate lights and other devices when motion is detected. The Eve Door and Window connects to a door and can notify you when the door is opened, both for alerting purposes and for activating other accessories in automations. Eve Energy is a smart plug, so you can plug anything in and then control it with your Apple devices and Siri commands.
All three support Matter, but Matter currently needs to be added via a firmware update. So if you already own these devices or buy them with the intention of using them with Matter, be prepared to add new software. Assuming new devices in the box, the first step is to add them to HomeKit.
Adding them to HomeKit requires opening the Home app and scanning the QR code, and is the same as for any HomeKit product. Once that’s done, the Eve app is required and you’ll need to grant access to its initial setup. Support for Matter is not officially available yet, but Eve has a TestFlight version of the app that users can sign up for to test Matter through the Early Access Program.
In addition to one of the Eve compatible devices and access to the Eve TestFlight app, a device running iOS 16.2 is required, as well as a Home Hub, which includes the HomePod mini or Apple TV 4K.
With the TestFlight version of the Eve app and an Eve Door and Window, Eve Energy, or Eve Motion device added to HomeKit, the Eve app can download a firmware update to install Matter. Transitioning to Matter is a one-time, irrevocable switch, so once you’ve upgraded your Eve device to Matter, there’s no going back.
The upgrade process isn’t difficult, but it isn’t super simple either. The Eve app will guide you through the steps, starting with generating a new Matter QR code. The Matter QR code is similar to the HomeKit QR code used to configure a HomeKit device, but it is Matter and not HomeKit. This code entirely replaces a HomeKit code, so you need to save a copy of it, which the Eve app reminds you of multiple times.
In fact, you can’t go through the setup process without printing or saving a copy of the new Matter code, and you’ll want to keep it similar to the HomeKit codes. Because Matter code replaces HomeKit code, your existing HomeKit code is no good. In the future, Matter codes will be printed on the device like HomeKit codes, but now, for firmware updates, it is important to keep Matter codes extremely secure.
Setup will require a Matter QR code printout or a secondary device because once you get the new code you need to scan it with your primary device to connect your Eve product to Matter. After that, there’s a migration process from HomeKit to Matter, which took about 10 minutes in my testing.
Once Matter compatible devices are on store shelves and no longer require firmware updates, configuring the devices will be much simpler. In fact, it will be basically the same as setting up a HomeKit device now, so it should be pretty painless if you’re already familiar with setting up HomeKit.
In the Home app, Matter devices work exactly like HomeKit devices, and I can’t tell the difference in functionality. In the Eve app, I can see that a device is “Matter” and not “HomeKit”, but the Home app doesn’t give me any specific indication.
Controlling a Matter device is indistinguishable from controlling a standard HomeKit device, which is how everything is supposed to work. Automations, scenes, and schedules continue to work as expected, both in the Home app and the Eve app. I want to point out that Eve devices are Thread enabled and should offer better integration with Thread devices than standard Bluetooth.
I’ve been using the Eve devices with Matter for over a week now, and the performance is about the same as HomeKit, but I’m having an ongoing problem with the Eve Energy. It disconnects every day or every other day, stops communicating with my home setup, and is inaccessible in the Home app. I also have this problem with HomeKit-enabled smart plugs, but not usually this often. I asked Eve about the issue and was told it’s a known issue that will be resolved with upcoming updates.
This is actually a known issue with the current mix of home hub software versions and our accessories. In most cases, the accessory is still accessible for custom functionality, such as the ID feature in the Eve app. We’re working closely with Apple to identify what’s wrong, but in the meantime, generally resetting the home hubs will help for a while. Removing the accessory from the house and adding it back in may help in the short term, but they will likely fall off some time later again. Overall, future iOS and Eve app updates with firmware should alleviate the issue over time.
I’m an Apple user with a HomeKit setup, so I don’t have the info on how Eve’s Matter devices work with other platforms like Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, but for HomeKit users, I can confirm that Matter is essentially the same experience as HomeKit , without big changes to be expected from cross-platform Matter devices.
There is, however, an exception. You can use HomeKit products without a Home Hub (HomePod mini or Apple TV), but they are required for Matter because Matter devices need a Matter controller. Therefore, you should not buy Matter accessories or upgrade your HomeKit devices to Matter without one.
If you have someone in your household who uses an Android smartphone and they haven’t been able to access smart home products, Matter will make a big difference. Likewise, Android users who wanted access to products like Eve Energy and Eve Motion will now be able to use these devices that were previously exclusive to Apple Home.
In HomeKit, you can add a second platform like Google Home to your home setup to allow your devices to be controlled via Google hubs or Android smartphones. Just open the Apple Home app, long press the tile on the Eve product, select settings and tap “Enable pairing mode”. You will need a matter controller from From others smart home platform, so if you want to use your Matter devices with HomeKit and Google Home for example, you’ll need a HomePod mini/Apple TV and something like a Nest Mini or Hub Max.
Amazon hasn’t implemented full Matter support yet (setting works on Android smartphones), but many Echo devices will work with Matter, so in the future you’ll be able to control smart home products with your iPhone and your Amazon Echo/Nest Hub. The matter will be most beneficial for those using two smart home platforms, but it will expand the number of smart home products available to HomeKit users, and so far, it doesn’t look like there will be any major issues to deal with during the transition.
From the end of March, Eve will sell Matter-enabled devices that work right out of the box and that don’t need to have their firmware updated before the Matter integration works, which will be more convenient. Later in the year, Eve also plans to update other Thread products with Matter support. Eve’s Matter compatible devices can be purchased from Eve’s website or from Amazon.
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