Report claims Nest open to HomeKit compatibility, new info suggests move not imminent

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A new report claims that Google's smart thermostat and smart home hardware vendor Nest is considering a move to support HomeKit -- but few hard details are available and new information suggests that compatibility isn't coming any time soon.




In an account published by 9to5Mac, Nest was asked it if would examine iOS 11's expansion of HomeKit as it relates to the company's hardware. A representative from Nest reportedly reposnded, and said that it was "open to supporting HomeKit," but stopped short of sharing any product details.

Given the vagueness of the remark, AppleInsider has attempted to confirm the statement. We were told by a Nest employee not authorized to speak on behalf of the company that there were "no immediate plans" and "no roadmap" for such a migration.

The line of questioning regarding the possibility of Nest coming to HomeKit was inspired by a session during Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference on June 7. During the session, Apple declared that an updated HomeKit specification will meanwhile allow authentication through software, instead of a dedicated chip.

The software authentication in theory allows for a HomeKit upgrade on some older accessories through a firmware update. Potential SoC processor demands and other communication protocol issues surrounding HomeKit and Apple's required encryption may limit practical upgrades, however.

Apple, Nest, and Google -- duking it out

In 2011, Tony Fadell's first generation Nest Learning Thermostat shipped. On May 30, 2012, the Nest appeared at the Apple online and retail stores started stocking it.

The core of Nest's employees and intellectual property was used to ultimately launch Google Home, with similar functionality to HomeKit.

Three years after the Nest's launch, at Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple made its plans for its own home automation system public. Dubbed HomeKit, the system allows users to connect to a variety of compatible so-called "internet of things" devices through the iOS Home app in conjunction with each other, as opposed to a series of disconnected interfaces.

On July 22, 2015, Apple removed the Nest from its online store for the second time. It was replaced by the HomeKit-compatible ecobee3 thermostat.

At the time, Nest representatives said that their products would return to the Apple store, saying that "Apple is a valued partner to Nest and our new products will be available through Apple and other retail channels in the coming weeks."

The device has been gone from Apple's shelves for nearly two years.

From a hardware perspective, Alphabet's Weave "Internet of Things" protocol, and Apple's HomeKit are incompatible. The lack of network interoperability would necessitate some re-engineering in software, and possibly hardware, by Alphabet's Nest Labs prior to any shift.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 461member
    This would be a welcome addition to the HomeKit line up. In the market for a smart thermostat and have always preferred the Nest but I've decided to forgo anything that doesn't have HomeKit support. Ecobee 3 currently in my Amazon basket but I'd be happy to swap it out for a Nest if the announce something soon.
    mike1
  • Reply 2 of 18
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 195member
    Sold my Nest, bought an Ecobee (Homekit compatible). Much better product.
    lolliverbraderunnerlightvox
  • Reply 3 of 18
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,288member
    mtbnut said:
    Sold my Nest, bought an Ecobee (Homekit compatible). Much better product.
    On the verge of doing the same. Need the little extension unit to account for uneven heating in our two- story home. Also hate all things Google. 
    lollivermike1lightvox
  • Reply 4 of 18
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 425member
    Gfy, Nest. While you were asleep at the wheel I became an Ecobee customer. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 18
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 336member
    Nest may be open to supporting HomeKit but their big brother alphabet won't be so open.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    supadav03 said:
    This would be a welcome addition to the HomeKit line up. In the market for a smart thermostat and have always preferred the Nest but I've decided to forgo anything that doesn't have HomeKit support. Ecobee 3 currently in my Amazon basket but I'd be happy to swap it out for a Nest if the announce something soon.
    I went from Nest to ecobee 3, I think you'll love the it.  I especially love the wee extra satellite sensor, I keep that in my office where all the Macs, drives and monitors are.  First time I've been comfortable in years.  The wife looks a little frosty in her office though lol. Plus remember it's not spying in you ;)  (I just wanted to get a rise out of Gatorguy. )
  • Reply 8 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member

    igorsky said:
    Gfy, Nest. While you were asleep at the wheel I became an Ecobee customer. 
    Me too.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member

    mtbnut said:
    Sold my Nest, bought an Ecobee (Homekit compatible). Much better product.
    On the verge of doing the same. Need the little extension unit to account for uneven heating in our two- story home. Also hate all things Google. 
    Agreed.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
    I'm in the same situation.  I love Nest's hardware, but refuse to let Google in my house.  If HomeKit makes it to Nest, I would consider it.

    I have only two wires too.  Even though I only have a heater (old SF Victorian), why my contractor used 2-wire cabling instead of 3 (or more) wires at minimal costs (it's only 10 feet away from furnace) is beyond me.  I'm seriously considering pulling new wire just to be prepared.  I need a bit more intelligence in my heating system and I'm leaning towards Ecobee.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    I'll never use nest again. It went nuts, firing both AC and heater simultaneously. Blew out a control board. It was properly installed. 
    lightvox
  • Reply 12 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    sflocal said:
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
    I'm in the same situation.  I love Nest's hardware, but refuse to let Google in my house.  If HomeKit makes it to Nest, I would consider it.

    I have only two wires too.  Even though I only have a heater (old SF Victorian), why my contractor used 2-wire cabling instead of 3 (or more) wires at minimal costs (it's only 10 feet away from furnace) is beyond me.  I'm seriously considering pulling new wire just to be prepared.  I need a bit more intelligence in my heating system and I'm leaning towards Ecobee.
    If you let Google in with this Nest then Google now have into your HomeKit too. that seems worse than a stand alone spy to me.   ...  Waits for Gatorguy's admonition    :#
  • Reply 13 of 18
    lmaclmac Posts: 195member
    Would love to see Nest become compatible with HomeKit. It's a good product.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 14 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    MacPro said:
    sflocal said:
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
    I'm in the same situation.  I love Nest's hardware, but refuse to let Google in my house.  If HomeKit makes it to Nest, I would consider it.

    I have only two wires too.  Even though I only have a heater (old SF Victorian), why my contractor used 2-wire cabling instead of 3 (or more) wires at minimal costs (it's only 10 feet away from furnace) is beyond me.  I'm seriously considering pulling new wire just to be prepared.  I need a bit more intelligence in my heating system and I'm leaning towards Ecobee.
    If you let Google in with this Nest then Google now have into your HomeKit too. that seems worse than a stand alone spy to me.   ...  Waits for Gatorguy's admonition    :#
    I don't at all disagree with you. If you have a fear of advertisers, coupled with a fear of internet connected devices "spying" on you I'd never suggest buying a Nest, nor any of these other IoT devices. Especially if they use voice actions, which means they have microphones, or respond to motions which might mean there's an imaging device too. The new world can be quite intimidating, downright scary even,  with so many changes underway.
    edited June 2017
  • Reply 15 of 18
    lmaclmac Posts: 195member
    Come on people. I like Apple's privacy stance a lot, but we're talking about a smart thermostat here, not a jihad against all things Google. When my Nest thermostat starts putting targeted ads on the screen, it goes in the trash. Until then, I'm very happy with it. But as far as the smart speakers debate goes, yes, I'm wary, but my phone and computer both have microphones and cameras already, and Google apps are on these Apple devices.

    gatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    sflocal said:
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
    I'm in the same situation.  I love Nest's hardware, but refuse to let Google in my house.  If HomeKit makes it to Nest, I would consider it.

    I have only two wires too.  Even though I only have a heater (old SF Victorian), why my contractor used 2-wire cabling instead of 3 (or more) wires at minimal costs (it's only 10 feet away from furnace) is beyond me.  I'm seriously considering pulling new wire just to be prepared.  I need a bit more intelligence in my heating system and I'm leaning towards Ecobee.
    If you let Google in with this Nest then Google now have into your HomeKit too. that seems worse than a stand alone spy to me.   ...  Waits for Gatorguy's admonition    :#
    I don't at all disagree with you. If you have a fear of advertisers, coupled with a fear of internet connected devices "spying" on you I'd never suggest buying a Nest, nor any of these other IoT devices. Especially if they use voice actions, which means they have microphones, or respond to motions which might mean there's an imaging device too. The new world can be quite intimidating, downright scary even,  with so many changes underway.
    I feel confident that Siri may listen when spoken to but never sells any data.  I guess that's why we Apple die-hard fans feel safer with Siri, we trust Apple, even if that may seem irrational to those who are not.  I do underhand crowd sourcing anonymous data from Apple iPhones and iPads may be a great source of traffic information for example so that's a specific kind of 'sharing' that makes total sense but it won't result in supposed targeted ads on web page I visits the way Google's shopping does.  

    I certainly don't mind Amazon's own site showing me things I might like, they are scarily accurate mostly lol, but I've yet to see Amazon 'share' that information with others let alone Google.   

    Google's model would take a huge hit IMHO if more web sites made stand alone web apps for macOS (I realize you are a PC user but I suppose a similar thing could occur there).  The plethora of apps for the iPad that are really web page replacements  (I realize you don't have an iPad) could easily run on a Mac (again I know you said you don't have one of those either) e.g. CNN, BBC, The Guardian and so on.  Why go to web pages if you cold be in a sandboxed app?  Monetization  for these companies could come from selling the app at a reasonable price,  typical on the App Store, rather than these Google based ads.  If there were a huge move in this direction Google's ill gotten gains from intrusive advertising would slowly dry up.  

    Google does some good things, YouTube,  Search (if it didn't sell this data) Maps and Earth are all great and again IMHO should, as Earth is, be stand alone apps.  Finally I'd add, IMHO, at the very least, Google should have to explicitly get permission to sell /share anyones web activity.  There should be a 'NO' button.  

    As is, it reminds me of the Cable companies in the USA pirating the Networks off air cross country transmissions, for decades, replacing the ads with their own local ads and redistributing via cable and charging for what was a free service off air.  No payment for content.  They got way with it for decades and yet on the face of it, in a sane world,  should have been in jail for it.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    sflocal said:
    I have a houseful of Nest 2 thermostats dating to 2013. They work well and I was perfectly happy until Google bought them. It's still fine, they work well, but now that HomeKit exists I have no plans for any other platform.

    The big problem with replacing them with Ecobee 3 is the wires -- the Nest 2 only required two wires for our purposes (heat only), and stupidly that's all we used during the restoration of this old house. The Ecobee 3 requires at least three wires. So that's not really an option without a lot of trouble (to rewire).

    I haven't tried to look for other products. I like the look and feel of the Nest 2 (and the Ecobee 3). So a HomeKit update for Nest would be good for me. I hope they do it.
    I'm in the same situation.  I love Nest's hardware, but refuse to let Google in my house.  If HomeKit makes it to Nest, I would consider it.

    I have only two wires too.  Even though I only have a heater (old SF Victorian), why my contractor used 2-wire cabling instead of 3 (or more) wires at minimal costs (it's only 10 feet away from furnace) is beyond me.  I'm seriously considering pulling new wire just to be prepared.  I need a bit more intelligence in my heating system and I'm leaning towards Ecobee.
    If you let Google in with this Nest then Google now have into your HomeKit too. that seems worse than a stand alone spy to me.   ...  Waits for Gatorguy's admonition    :#
    I don't at all disagree with you. If you have a fear of advertisers, coupled with a fear of internet connected devices "spying" on you I'd never suggest buying a Nest, nor any of these other IoT devices. Especially if they use voice actions, which means they have microphones, or respond to motions which might mean there's an imaging device too. The new world can be quite intimidating, downright scary even,  with so many changes underway.
    I feel confident that Siri may listen when spoken to but never sells any data.

    I certainly don't mind Amazon's own site showing me things I might like, they are scarily accurate mostly lol, but I've yet to see Amazon 'share' that information with others let alone Google.   

    Why go to web pages if you cold be in a sandboxed app?  Monetization  for these companies could come from selling the app at a reasonable price,  typical on the App Store, rather than these Google based ads.  If there were a huge move in this direction Google's ill gotten gains from intrusive advertising would slowly dry up.  

    ... at the very least, Google should have to explicitly get permission to sell /share anyones web activity.  There should be a 'NO' button.
    Ah, I see your problem now. Your fear seems to be based on a seriously flawed premise: That Apple and Amazon do not sell personal information or even share it, but unlike those two companies Google does both. On those two points you are 100% mistaken. And that's not really your fault either. That type of FUD is tossed around so often as fact that I'm sure many otherwise intelligent and well-informed members here think Google sells data, so you'e not alone.

    Google does not sell data, anymore than Apple does nor Amazon AFAICT. The instances under which Google may share personally identifiable info with 3rd parties is identical to the situations where Apple says they have the right to and may. Read both company's privacy policies if you aren't sure I'm correct. Haven't read Amazon's closely but I'll assume their policies on personally identifiable information is quite similar. 

    By the way Google has clear and understandable web pages for you to view the information they have connected to your advertising profile, correct any errors, change permissions for various individual Google services, limit the collection of information, reset your advertising identifier to start from scratch, or opt out of all Google services altogether and no longer share any information at all with them.

    Tho  Apple must have them too where are the company pages where I can see what Apple knows about me and whether it's accurate? Yup Apple has a file on me. You too. Probably nothing of interest in there but still would be nice to able to see it. If it's anything like what Google thought it knew about me it's likely far from accurate. 
    edited June 2017
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