Amazon's smart home ecosystem just got a giant upgrade iPhone users will love

Matter smart home
(Image credit: Future / iMore / Stephen Warwick)

The Matter smart home standard continues to grow, and in a massive win for iPhone and Apple Home users, you can now set up Amazon's Alexa devices in iOS. That means you can use Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot devices as so-called 'Thread Border Routers'. In the words of the Amazon press release (opens in new tab), this means that users can now "expand their smart homes with Matter-enabled Thread devices in addition to WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Mesh, and Matter-enabled WiFi devices."

At the same time, Eve, the maker of some of the best HomeKit devices, has announced a partnership with Amazon to make its devices matter-compatible, giving Echo and Alexa users more devices to choose from.

What even is a Thread border router?

This a question many will find themselves asking when they see the news. It sounds more complicated than it is – a Thread border router acts as a kind of bridge between different smart home kit called 'threads', like Nanoleaf lights, and allows you to control them through your preexisting smart home standard. That means that devices previously unavailable on systems such as HomeKit or Alexa now work with all the options, opening up more possibilities for smart home users.

Now Eve, which makes loads of smart home gadgets for HomeKit like window and door sensors, Homekit smart power plugs, and others, has announced support for Matter and Alexa in a partnership with Amazon. In the same press release as above, Amazon and Eve announce that you can opt-in to Frustration-Free Setup (or FFS) and easily add Eve devices to Alexa. "With Alexa, Eve customers can enjoy the convenience of voice control or use their devices to create Alexa Routines, making their homes more ambient and helpful."

The Matter standard has already added more helpful devices to HomeKit, such as the Nest thermostat, so now it's time for other smart home standards to benefit from Matter

Tammy Rogers
Buying Guides and Deals Writer

As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.