Chinese manufacturer Aqara has started to roll out the promised Matter update for its M2 smart home hub. It is still titled “Beta” and comes with some delay, but first users report a notice in their Aqara app that the M2 is ready for the new standard. Apparently, the manufacturer is not rolling out the new software on all generations of the control center at the same time. It started with devices from the production year 2022. The manufacturing date is printed on the nameplate of the packaging below the serial number.
Prerequisite: Firmware 4.0.0
To take advantage of the Matter standard, at least software version 4.0.0 must be installed on the M2. Then the new entry “Bind to Matter (Beta)” appears in the hub’s advanced settings (“more settings”). Selecting it activates the pairing mode and displays a code on the smartphone screen.
With this code, the hub can be added to a Matter ecosystem such as Apple Home or Google Home. The graphic representation as a QR code can be scanned via smartphone camera. Otherwise, the eleven-digit code can also be copied and pasted. Read more in the article Matter benefits #3: easy setup.
Once added, the hub mirrors Zigbee products connected to it into the respective system. This also applies to functions that are not supported yet. For example, three separate tiles appear in the Google Home app for the Aqara triple sensor measuring temperature, humidity and air pressure. However, only two of them – for temperature and humidity – display values. The kilopascals (kPA) of the air pressure gauge that appear in the Aqara app cannot be used by Matter systems at the moment.
Due to some peculiarities of the Matter ecosystems, there are other limitations, some of which will only gradually disappear:
- Amazon and SmartThings do not support the “Bridge” device type. Therefore, the M2 can currently only be used together with Apple Home and Google Home.
- To integrate the hub with Google Home, a 2nd generation Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max must be installed on the same network.
- Apple Home requires a HomePod or Apple TV 4K to be installed and online on the same network.
- The software update and the new Matter functionality connect the Aqara hub with other systems via WLAN. They do not change the radio standard a M2 works with. It remains a Zigbee hub and the M2 does not take over the task of a border router for thread networks.
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