Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
59,301
23,286


Smart home company Eve in December began rolling out a firmware update that adds Matter support to the Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window. I have been testing the new Matter integration to see how the devices work with a standard HomeKit setup.

eve-matter-accessories-2023-ces.jpg

I have the Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door and Window accessories, all of which have been out for some time but have been updated to work with Matter. If you're not familiar with Matter, it is a newly released smart home standard that's 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.

So Matter-enabled devices from Eve can be added to HomeKit, or can be used with Google and Amazon's smart home platforms, and iPhone and Android smartphone users in the same household can control the accessories with their respective devices. HomeKit, meanwhile, is Apple only and needs to be accessed from an Apple device.

I don't want to go into too much detail on the specifics of the Eve accessories since this review is mostly for the Matter experience, but I'll give a quick rundown. The Eve Motion is a motion detector that is designed to allow you to activate lights and other devices when motion is detected. Eve Door and Window attaches to a door and can let you know when the door is opened, both for alert purposes and to activate 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 of these have Matter support, but right now, Matter needs to be added through 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 in the box devices, the first step is to add them to HomeKit.

eve-matter-upgrade-1.jpg

Adding them to HomeKit requires opening up the Home app and scanning the QR code, and it's the same as it is for any HomeKit product. Once that's done, the Eve app is required, and you'll need to give it access to your Home setup. Matter support is not yet officially available, 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 Eve's supported devices and access to the Eve TestFlight app, a device running iOS 16.2 is required, as is 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 swap, so once you upgrade your Eve device to Matter, there's no going back.

The upgrade process isn't difficult, but it's also not super simple. The Eve app will walk you through the steps, starting off with generating a new Matter QR code. The Matter QR code looks similar to the HomeKit QR code used to set up a HomeKit device, but it is Matter and not HomeKit. This code entirely replaces a HomeKit code, so you need to make sure 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're going to want to hold onto it similar to HomeKit codes. Since the Matter code replaces the HomeKit code, your existing HomeKit code is no good. In the future, Matter codes will be printed on device like the HomeKit codes, but right now for firmware updates, it's important to keep Matter codes extra safe.

Setup will require a printout of the Matter QR code or a secondary device because after getting the new code, you need to scan it with your primary device to connect the Eve product to Matter. After that, there is a HomeKit to Matter migration process, which took about 10 minutes in my testing.

When Matter-compatible devices are on store shelves and don't require firmware updates anymore, setting up devices will be much simpler. In fact, it's basically going to be the same as setting up a HomeKit device right now, so it should be fairly painless if you're already familiar with HomeKit setup.

eve-matter-upgrade-2.jpg

In the Home app, Matter devices work just like HomeKit devices, and I can't tell a difference in the functionality. In the Eve app, I can see that a device is "Matter" and not "HomeKit," but the Home app gives me no particular indication.

Controlling a Matter device is indistinguishable from controlling a standard HomeKit device, which is how it's all supposed to work. Automations, scenes, and schedules continue to work as expected, both in the Home app and through the Eve app. I do want to point out that Eve devices are Thread enabled, and are meant to offer better integration with Thread devices than standard Bluetooth.

I've been using the Eve devices with Matter for over a week, and the performance is about the same as I get with HomeKit, but I am having an ongoing issue with the Eve Energy. It disconnects every day or every two days, and it stops communicating with my home setup and becomes inaccessible in the Home app. I have this problem with HomeKit-enabled smart plugs too, but not usually with this frequency. I asked Eve about the issue, and was told that it is a known problem that will be solved with upcoming updates.
This is indeed a known problem with the current combination of home hub software versions and our accessories. In most cases the accessory can still be reached for custom functionality, such as ID feature in the Eve app. We’re working closely with Apple to identify what’s wrong, but in the meantime, usually rebooting the home hubs will help for a while. Removing the accessory from home and adding it back may help on the short run, but they will likely drop off after sometime later again. Overall, future updates of iOS and the Eve app with the firmware should alleviate the problem over time.
I'm an Apple user with a HomeKit setup so I don't have insight into 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, with no major changes to expect from the cross-platform Matter devices.

There is, however, one exception. You can use HomeKit products without a Home Hub (HomePod mini or Apple TV) but these are required for Matter because Matter devices need a Matter controller. So you shouldn't pick up Matter accessories or upgrade your HomeKit devices to Matter without one.

If you have someone in your home who uses an Android smartphone and hasn't been able to access smart home products, Matter will make a major difference. Likewise, Android users who have wanted access to products like Eve Energy and Eve Motion will now be able to use these devices that were once Apple Home exclusives.

From HomeKit, you can add a second platform like Google Home to your home setup to allow your devices to be controlled though Google hubs or Android smartphones. Just open up the Apple Home app, long press on the tile for the Eve product, select the settings, and then tap on "Turn on Pairing Mode." You will need a Matter controller from the other 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 (setup 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. Matter will be most beneficial to those who use 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 hassles to deal with when transitioning.

Starting in late 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 the Eve website or from Amazon.

Article Link: Review: How Eve's Matter Accessories Work With a HomeKit Setup
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2021
1,568
2,773
You will need a Matter controller from the other 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.

So far Matter just seems to be shuffling the deck chairs and not making much of an actual difference. I thought the entire idea was universal compatibility.
 

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
7,850
5,611
There & Back Again
I wish there was a simple way to get my Nest products working with HomeKit.

i have to use the Nest app because the Google Home app won't accept the Nest Protect devices, and I have to use the Home app because one of the cameras isn't supported by the Nest app. Makes me crazy.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: zapmymac

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,890
4,071
So far Matter just seems to be shuffling the deck chairs and not making much of an actual difference. I thought the entire idea was universal compatibility.

It is, in that you can connect a Matter accessory to HomeKit, an Alexa setup, a Google Home setup, etc. You won't buy a Matter accessory and then be limited to HomeKit. You can have an accessory like a smart plug that connects to a HomeKit setup and an Alexa setup in the same home and that can be controlled by both, you just need to have both a HomeKit hub and an Alexa hub.
 

kiranmk2

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2008
1,238
1,136


I'm an Apple user with a HomeKit setup so I don't have insight into 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, with no major changes to expect from the cross-platform Matter devices.
Stopped reading at this point. The whole point of Matter is to enable cross eco-system compatibility, but this review didn't test this...
 

CARIB_APPLE

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2020
85
73
So far Matter just seems to be shuffling the deck chairs and not making much of an actual difference. I thought the entire idea was universal compatibility.
It has universal compatibility, but you still need a hub (something that is always plugged in and connected to the internet) for Apple users this would be the Apply TV or HomePod. Items that are Matter compatible are able to connect through one of the two so a person will no longer need a separate hub/bridge for the each type of smart product you bring into your house.
 

Bl0ckHe1d

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2009
408
64
Caledonia
Advice regarding upgraded firmware to incorporate Matter is DON’T!

Had nothing but connectivity issues and “No Response” from all Eve devices since the upgrade and doesn’t appear that 16.3 has fixed the issue either
 

Attachments

  • 3B707C0D-A48F-4122-A63A-EE2DD637ACAB.jpeg
    3B707C0D-A48F-4122-A63A-EE2DD637ACAB.jpeg
    88.1 KB · Views: 30

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
1,990
5,852
Ireland
It is, in that you can connect a Matter accessory to HomeKit, an Alexa setup, a Google Home setup, etc. You won't buy a Matter accessory and then be limited to HomeKit. You can have an accessory like a smart plug that connects to a HomeKit setup and an Alexa setup in the same home and that can be controlled by both, you just need to have both a HomeKit hub and an Alexa hub.
I'm sorry, but requiring you to have two hubs to get them to work together defeats the point of this supposed integration. Surely this cannot be correct.
 

Shin-Ra

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2008
97
102
The beta Matter update also currently reduces the useful information available in the Eve app’s SettingsThread Network view with Eve Energy.

Eve App 6.0beta 11917 (12 Jan 2023)
Eve Energy Firmware 3.1 (xx Dec 2022)

With the default HomeKit firmware (before March 2023), the Thread Network view adds signal Quality In/Out: Poor-Excellent readings for every Thread device connected to one another. It also shows Thread routing information, for example if a battery-powered sleepy end-device is connected via another mains-powered router/mesh-extender.

Before the 12 Jan update to the Eve App beta, all of that additional detail was lost as far as I could tell. The only useful information was if Thread capable devices were using Thread instead of Bluetooth after initial pairing setup.

With the 12 Jan Eve App beta update some detail was restored, Quality In/Out: Poor-Excellent readings but only from Eve Energy’s point of view. Other Thread devices connectivity Quality to anything other than Eve Energy is still missing and device naming uses generic network addresses like ‘Router 0C’ instead of their friendly user-assigned names like ‘Ceiling Lamp’.

Eve claims this should continue to improve:

Welcome to the Eve for Matter and HomeKit beta! We will update the application on a regular basis to ensure the continuous flow of improvements and fixes.

This build fixes some of the reported issues, improves the transition from HomeKit to Matter, as well as further improves the Thread Network behavior for Matter-based accessories (again, not fully there, please bear with us).

Hopefully Thread Network view detail is restored back to pre-Matter usefulness before the late-March public launch. Also the disconnects, which are less frequent for me than Joe, maybe every 2-3 weeks the Matter updated plug becomes unresponsive.
 

CYB3RBYTE

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2014
443
275
Midwest
All three of my Eve Energy switches have been fantastic and MUCH better than my non-thread Belkin Wemo switches. They've never refused to respond (Siri itself usually causes the issue).

However after reading the potential issues with the new firmware, I'm going to hold off, considering I don't have anything else in my home that would benefit from a Matter setup at this time.
 

punkypj

macrumors newbie
Nov 17, 2012
16
6
Advice regarding upgraded firmware to incorporate Matter is DON’T!

Had nothing but connectivity issues and “No Response” from all Eve devices since the upgrade and doesn’t appear that 16.3 has fixed the issue either
Totally concur with this 👆to anyone reading this article contemplating “upgrading” their eve to Matter for use on HomeKit, DONT DO IT.

i upgraded 6 eve energys, they randomly drop from HomeKit entirely after a day or so and only full factory reset fixes it. In fact one of them wont even work with a factory reset so currently it’s just a dumb switch. 😤
 
  • Angry
Reactions: Bl0ckHe1d

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,890
4,071
I'm sorry, but requiring you to have two hubs to get them to work together defeats the point of this supposed integration. Surely this cannot be correct.

To be clear here, hubs for Apple are the HomePod/HomePod mini/Apple TV. Google is its Nest speaker things, and Amazon is the Echo series. So things you would probably already have in your house if you were using these ecosystems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zapmymac

0ceans

macrumors member
May 17, 2021
30
37
I haven't caught up with all the Matter stuff, but there's one thing I want to understand:

Will Alexa or Google devices in the future be controllable through the Home app via Matter? Showing up on my iPhone's control center, being controllable via Siri etc?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.