I agree that it’s mostly about how you define home automation, since voice control is marketed to non-enthusiasts as equivalent to automation. It’s also fair to say that Google Assistant and Alexa can do a lot more now than they could a few years ago, and that’s enough to keep most people happy. I think that’s the distinction the author should have made, but Internet journalism favours bold statements and hot takes that get people to react in the comments. If you write something that’s carefully considered and reasonable, no one notices and you don’t get the all-important clicks that generate revenue.
As for devices, people should just do what makes the most sense for themselves, which means evaluating an ever-changing combination of factors: budget, availability, purpose, features, AC/DC, range, ease of implementation, etc. The one thing that everyone should care about is reliability. If you can’t trust it to work, then there’s no point to it.
If I were starting over again then I might use Z-Wave wherever possible, but that would more than double my costs (versus WiFi devices) without any noticeable real-world advantages. The bigger budget might not matter to some people, but it does to me.
It’s also not as simple as choosing WiFi devices, but choosing WiFi devices that are supported. When I first installed openHAB, it immediately found the TP-Link Kasas I already had installed throughout my house. That eureka moment was really satisfying and gave me the confidence to keep going. If you had instead told me that I’d need to put Tasmota firmware on my Tuya WiFi devices and then connect to them via MQTT, I might not be here right now.
All this is to say that I’m cautiously optimistic about Matter. I feel like we’re still in the “every cable has a different port/plug” phase (parallel, serial, PS/2, FireWire, VGA) of home automation, and Matter could be the equivalent of USB. Just keep in mind how long it took for us to get from USB-A to USB-C, and that the ways in which manufacturers have implemented USB-C is far from perfect.