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Google Nest Hub Max Matter update breaks Nest x Yale Lock integration

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The Google Nest Hub Max gets an update to prepare it for Matter support (hurrah!) but loses the ability to connect directly to the Nest x Yale lock (boo). Next month, a “small number” of people may be temporarily disconnected until they add a new dongle (ugh).

According to a post on the company’s Nest community page, Google says:

Once this software update is rolled out, Nest Hub Max will no longer support bridging or range extension. At that time, users whose locks are connected to Wi-Fi through a Nest Hub Max, or who are out of range of their Nest Connect or Nest Guard, will not be able to lock or unlock their doors using the Nest app. Users can still lock and unlock the door using the keypad on the Nest x Yale lock. Nest Detects that are out of range of Nest Connect or Nest Guard will not be able to connect to Wi-Fi and report their status in the Nest app.

Some context: when the Nest x Yale slot was launched in 2018 as one of the first “Wire ready” devices, it had either a Nest Connect bridge (bundled with the lock or sold separately for $70) or the discontinued Nest Guard home security system to connect to the Internet and the rest of the Nest ecosystem. But the Nest Hub Max, which launched the following year, including a (somewhat hidden) wire border router, which meant people could connect the Nest x Yale lock to it without a bridgeand a few people did.

The July update breaks that functionality for the lock and for the Nest Guard door sensor. Anyone with either device who doesn’t already have a Nest Connect or Nest Guard security system will need a Nest Connect to reconnect them. Laura Breen, a Google spokesperson, told us: “Users who do not have Nest Connect or Nest Guard and are affected by this update will receive a coupon code that is good for one free Nest Connect from the Google Store or will be redirected to contact take with the support to receive a Nest Connect for free.”

Breen says the workaround is necessary because “the connectivity built into the Nest x Yale lock, Nest Guard and Nest Connect is based on a previous implementation of Thread and their implementations do not support features required for Matter. Because it If the Nest Hub Max is unable to support multiple Thread networks (or network configurations), it will no longer be able to support interoperability with the Nest Guard, Connect, or Nest x Yale lock.”

The Nest Hub Max has had a Thread radio and router in it since launch, but getting it to work required some tinkering.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

In a May blog post, Google said it would update several devices, including the Nest Hub Max, to let them act as Matter controllers† the same blog post stated that the Nest Hub Max could also act as a Thread boundary router. This feature replaces the existing Thread border router implementation with its somewhat cumbersome installation process and limited compatibility.

Breen also said that “Support for the Nest x Yale slot is not planned at this time.” Matter wasn’t even a twinkle in the eyes of the Connectivity Standards Alliance when the Nest x Yale Lock launched, so while it has a Thread radio, there are restrictions that prevent Google from implementing Matter over Thread. Several of Nanoleaf’s Thread-enabled bulbs and strips will also not work with Matter. (My colleague Jennifer Pattison Tuohy is on vacation, so I can’t ask her to explain it to me.)

Still, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and sometimes that means buying another dongle so your Nest smart lock can keep talking to your Nest smart hub.

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