Thoughts on eWeLink Matter Hub on tablets

With the new CAST 2.0 update, tablets can now double up as a handy dashboard and Matter Hub for the eWeLink platform – both cloud and local. It’s cool to see them unlocking the potential of old devices, like that camera app turning old phones into web cameras.

But, here’s the scoop: the feature is still in its early phase and a bit buggy, at least from my initial experience.

If you use a lot from eWeLink, you might find their constant updates in Matter a bit confusing. Here’s the lowdown: iHost is now your Matter Bridge, connecting devices to other Controllers like Google Nest or HomePod. Meanwhile, NSPanel Pro takes on the role of a Matter Controller, handling various Matter devices, including bridges from different vendors like Aqara M3 or Switchbot Bluetooth gateway.

When scanning a Matter code in the eWeLink app (digital codes not recognized), it jumps to an illustration showing how this works. Unlike other brands that use platform APIs for pairing, eWeLink’s app does all the work itself. After pairing, your device shows up in the app with a small Matter logo and a banner in the details tab, proudly declaring it’s in local mode. You can even turn on its pairing mode to share devices with other Matter Controllers like Google Nest mini.

Once successfully paired, your tablet running eWeLink CAST connects its Matter devices to the cloud, enabling remote control. While pairing Sonoff’s Matter devices won’t need it. In this case, the eWeLink app acts as a Matter Controller and can share the device with other platforms via Matter.

It’s a bonus feature for eWeLink CAST on tablets, but still a bit shaky. However, it does make life easier by automating Matter devices from other brands with eWeLink-hosted ones.

Let’s keep it real – there are some glitches. Connectivity can be a headache when pairing new devices; sometimes, I need to toggle the Matter option off and on to get it to work.

And currently, the supported device types are limited to on/off outlets (and lights). However, I do expect that it stabilizes and extends support to sensors and bridges. It could be the missing piece, turning tablets into an Echo Show-like home hub.