Google begins testing Matter update for Nest Hub Max

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The latest Preview update for the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max is set to drop the larger smart display’s ability to act as a bridge/extender like the Nest Connect.

One of the lesser-known features of the Nest Hub Max is that it’s capable of extending the effective range of certain Nest products like the Nest Detect and Nest x Yale smart lock. Rather than connecting over Wi-Fi, these devices rely on a traditional bridge device such as a Nest Connect, Nest Guard, or the Nest Hub Max.

Back in June, we reported that the Nest Hub Max would be dropping this extender capability with an upcoming patch that Google dubbed the “Thread-Matter update.” While originally set to arrive in “late July,” a related support page says the Matter update would be tagged “F7,” and the current stable update is “F6.” As you might expect, the “F” in “F7” is for Fuchsia.

This evening, Google has updated a support page that details the current stable and Preview Program firmware for Nest and Google Home devices. The new listings show that Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max devices in the Preview Program will soon be gaining the F7 update — 7.20220419.2.166 for the smaller hub and 7.20220419.2.164 for the larger.

Notably, the arrival of this update may not necessarily mark the availability of Matter/Thread devices for your Google Home network. Instead, this is just one of the many ways Google is preparing its devices and apps for the new smart home standard ahead of a formal launch of the feature later this year.

Beyond the removal of the Nest bridge/extender features, we’re not currently expecting much to change with the F7 update for Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. For those who are affected by that removal, Google is advising that you reposition your devices to keep them connected, but if that isn’t feasible for your home, Google is giving some customers a free Nest Connect to serve as an extender.

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