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Google Home with 3rd party Thread Border Router

Community Member

Hello all:

My environment:

  • (1) Apple TV 4k 3rd gen
  • (2) Google Home minis
  • (6) Nanoleaf Essentials A19 bulbs (firmware ver. 1.6.49)
  • (1) iPad on iPadOS 16.5.1
  • (1) Google Pixel 7 Pro on Android 13
  • Nanoleaf app on both iPad and Pixel devices (both up to date)
  • Everyone on the same network, SSID, Wifi band

Previously, I used Apple 4k 3rd gen as my Thread Border Router (TBR).  I could control devices with Google Assistant (GA) and Siri for the first few days.  Then it went downhill for GA.  Often, it cannot find devices and responds that devices "aren't available right now".  While on the iPad, Siri had no problems controlling the same devices GA couldn't.

I thought it might have been that the Apple ecosystem may be causing issues with GA.  So I turn off Home Hub to disable the TBR and got an Aeotec Smart Home Hub (ASHH).  The intention is to use it for only its TBR.  No devices will be managed by it.  The iPad Nanoleaf app successfully finds the Thread network created by ASHH and adds a device to Apple Home.  Siri had no problems controlling devices.
The Android Nanoleaf app cannot find the thread network, and GA cannot discover any devices.  I have validated that the correct permissions for the Android Nanoleaf app (Camera, Location, and Nearby devices) are allowed.

What about the Google ecosystem that doesn't want to play nice with third-party TBRs?  From what I know, the basic requirement is for at least one TBR.  With that one TBR, any Matter/Thread-compliant ecosystem should be able to discover the Thread network and begin the authentication process between the TBR and Thread device.

Is my understanding flawed?  If not, why won't Android/Google Home play nice with others on common protocols??