After years as an Apple-only smart home company, Eve is finally turning to the
dark other side and launching an Android app. At the IFA tech show, the company announced that its suite of smart home products – which include smart plugs, smart light strips, smart switches, and smart sensors – will get their own Android app in late 2022. Most Eve products will also become compatible with other smart home systems, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings.
This giant shift (which we did see coming at CES, but still, we’ll have to see it to believe it) is largely down to the upcoming smart home standard Matter. Matter’s primary raison d’etre is to make more devices work with more platforms, removing the confusion and chaos that dominates today’s smart home.
When Matter arrives this fall, Eve’s products should work with any Matter-compatible ecosystem without needing a cloud-to-cloud connection. Amazon, Google, and Samsung have all committed to making their platforms Matter-compatible. Those platforms’ reliance on the cloud had previously prevented Eve from working with them, with the company preferring to stick with a system that processed all device data locally — Apple’s Homekit.
Since the announcement of Matter, Eve has been working on transitioning all its relevant smart home products over from Bluetooth-only to adding Thread radios – Thread is one of the main protocols of Matter. The company says its Thread-enabled devices will begin receiving free over-the-air firmware updates to the standard, which will make them compatible with those other platforms.
This week Eve also announced the Eve Light Switch with Thread for North America ($49.95), upgrading one of its last remaining Bluetooth-only products. The Eve Flare portable lamp is the only device it still sells that works solely over Bluetooth.
The third generation of the Eve Light Switch is a smart light switch (but not a dimmer switch) that can control standard LED lights, allowing you to pair your lights with motion sensors, set them on schedules, or program lighting scenes. Unlike its predecessor, which was a single-pole switch, the third-gen model is compatible with three-way switches – where two light switches control one light. It does require a neutral wire, and should be available in October.
Alongside the light switch, Eve announced new versions of its Eve Motion Blinds smart shades, with motors for Venetian blinds (Europe only) and Honeycomb shades joining its existing Roller shades motor. The shades are custom ordered from companies such as SelectBlinds, and come with Eve’s Thread-enabled motors inside. An Eve Shutter Switch is also coming to the European market in December. The 99.95 euro switch will work over Thread and can replace an in-wall roller shutter switch.
Eve also announced a white model of its Eve Outdoor Cam ($249.95) coming in December. The black version is my Apple HomeKit pick for the best smart floodlight camera. Eve’s cameras work over Wi-Fi, and as smart security cameras are not yet part of Matter, will probably continue to only work with Apple Home’s HomeKit Secure Video Service.
So while Eve’s cameras stay on Apple, for now, the rest of its smart home products will soon be partying on Android, too. A smart home company launching an Android app may seem minor, but this one is almost like Apple announcing its Apple Watch will work with Android — so tied to Apple has Eve been. It’s one of those signs we’ve needed that point toward Matter actually happening. As fall rapidly approaches (yes, it is indeed now September), it is past time to expect some solid evidence that Matter is all we’ve been led to believe it can be.