HomeKit Support for Nest Smart Products Unlikely Anytime Soon

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Rumors that smart thermostat maker Nest is considering adding Apple HomeKit support to its product range appear to be premature, according to a report on Thursday. AppleInsider spoke to a Nest employee who apparently confirmed there are "no immediate plans" to support Apple's smart home platform and "no roadmap" for such a migration.

    The rumors were apparently stoked by Apple's announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference that it has taken steps to make it easier for third parties to integrate the smart home platform into their devices, followed by a comment recently attributed to Nest that it would "consider HomeKit".


    At the present time, HomeKit-enabled smart products require a hardware authentication chip to make them compatible with Apple's Made-For-iPhone program. At WWDC, however, Apple said it was updating its specification so that smart products won't have to include a hardware chip and will be able to authenticate through software instead. The news sparked suggestions that some older products could theoretically be upgraded to support HomeKit using a firmware upgrade.

    HomeKit has enjoyed fairly wide support among smart gadget manufacturers, but the Google-owned Nest brand has never been on that list. Apple removed Nest products from its stores in 2015 shortly after the first HomeKit-compatible products became available for purchase.

    Nest owners needn't completely give up hope for HomeKit support, as manufacturers have occasionally added the standard to products via upgrades well after they have come to market. Add to that Apple's looser licensing and authentication restrictions for HomeKit and it's not impossible that Nest will come around to the platform one day.

    Article Link: HomeKit Support for Nest Smart Products Unlikely Anytime Soon
  2. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yawn. Who the Hell needs Google Nest when Ecobee's smart thermostats are excellent.
  3. Red Oak macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    Nest is hostile to Apple and Apple customers. I would have never installed it if I knew it would be bought by Google. Product improvements including software updates just seen to have ceased

    I be switching out soon to something (likely Ecobee) that is HomeKit compatible
  4. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    Those of us who already have a Nest installed would like it. Free upgrade of compatibility vs paying twice for the same thing....
  5. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I don't really care about HomeKit. From everything I have seen, the native app is always better than the HomeKit interaction anyway. As for thermostats, at least in the Ecobee, using HomeKit to change the temperature actually interrupts the schedule, requiring the user to use the native app anyway to resume it; obviating any need for HomeKit.
  6. macplay macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2012
    I think its a mess in the new home automation world of today.

    In only believe in real domotica systems like KNX. The have tons of experians and it really works stable without a cloud.

    Ill really do think that appe is walking on to many platforms.

    Apple maps
  7. scwinsett macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Well then I guess I have “no plans” to buy a Nest
  8. Jme Saunders macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    Until WWDC because certain hardware was required for the encryption, there hasn't ever been a free upgrade for compatibility. If you brought a Nest thinking there was going to be, you shouldn't have purchased one.
  9. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Existing Nest can never get HomeKit. HomeKit requires a special security chip. It's not just a software or firmware update like Alexa support. That is why manufacturers in the past have been slow to adopt. Apple hasn't made it easy. Hopefully with the slightly relaxed rules announced at WWDC that will change. But what doesn't change is that if Nest ever did adopt HomeKit you would have to buy a new Nest. Your current Nest will be HomeKit-less forever just like the first gen non-Homekit August lock.
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    From the first article:

  11. Jme Saunders macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2015
    This was introduced after they bought the Nest. So, if anyone bought the device not knowing about WWDC's reveal, why should they expect anything now?
  12. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    While HomeKit allows interaction FROM the cloud, it doesn't look like the automation rules (or integrations with other systems) occur in the cloud.


    This person is saying that because HomeKit DOESN'T use the cloud for integrations, Apple is making a mistake.


    This developer is saying the opposite. Because HomeKit DOESN'T use the cloud, it's fantastic. His company makes a very capable Insteon/Zwave/Zigbee/RF hub (that runs its own automation) thats been around for years. It currently integrates (via cloud) with Amazon and Google. Just thought it was interesting that he thought how HomeKit not using a cloud is a great thing.
  13. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    Second this. Ecobee is fantastic and looks a lot more sleek on your wall. (I have one)
    --- Post Merged, Jun 16, 2017 ---
    You can't go wrong with Ecobee. If you don't care about Alexa on it (which it seems you do not) the Ecobee3 is basically the same as the new 4.
  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Yes, that is correct. But it really doesn't affect older products because the new s/w encryption still has hardware demands that won't perform well with older device processors. It will work yes, but not at a level any company or Apple would want to stand by. Apple has basically said it will not certify upgrades that don't perform well and put HomeKit in a bad light.
  15. spazzcat macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2007
  16. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Right, right. I was just curious about what specifics you know about the Nest that lead you to make a very matter-of-fact statement that the existing Nests would never support it.

    Do you actually have any actual facts regarding the Nest's processor and how utilized it currently is, or what the expected overhead from HomeKit encryption actually is? I'd love to learn more.
  17. ikramerica macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2009
    The Nest isn't a very good thermostat anyway. Having used it and a few different Honeywell (non lyric) wifi thermostats, I prefer the Honeywell. The Honeywell are far easier to control and program via the app and easier to manually adjust when needed. The nest learning is mediocre at best and probably works best for a single person living in an apartmenf.
  18. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    Once again, software authentication is only valid for non-commercial HomeKit devices. It makes it quicker to R&D commercial products and makes it possible for home hobbiest to build HomeKit compatible stuff.
  19. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
  20. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    Macrumors confirmed that Jeffythequik and his household have "no immediate plans" to buy Nest products for their new home, and "no roadmap" to add it at any future time.

    I've done a cluster of "best of breed" home automation products, and it was, well, a cluster-you-know-what. X10, ZWave, Insteon, Zigbee, all needing a hub and software to run it. Not fun.

    I'm going with Homekit for my next house, and one requirement I have is to have all of the items be one communications technology.
  21. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    Apple should have bought Nest when it had the chance. It could have been a leader in home automation.
  22. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    The short of it is that current HomeKit devices either have a hub with an authentication chip or the chip is built into the device. So, for example, an iPhone has an Ax chip to run the OS AND an authentication chip to handle security. The Ax chip doesn't do all the heavy lifting there. Same with, say an Ecobee. It has a processor which runs the thermostat and an authentication chip for HomeKit security.

    Under the new licensing rules a manufacture doesn't need the separate authentication chip but that means the main chip running the device will be taking on more responsibilities than in the past. Older non-homekit devices were not designed to do that level of multitasking in an timely manner. Manufacture's configure the perfectly sized processor for the device, not more, because of the obvious reasons: extra heat, cost, waste, get customers to upgrade in a few years, etc.

    Certainly it could be possible with lots of work to tweak older firmware but there is zero incentive for Nest or any other manufacturer to do spend labor to test it out. It would be a costly endeavor with unknown results and no compensation. Nest could charge, say $99, for the upgrade, but who knows how many people would buy it vs just buying a whole new thermostat for $150 more, one that was designed explicitly for HomeKit, not a retrofit, and has updated features. Even Nest doesn't include newer features to older Nests. Every succeeding generation of Nest has features the past one does not, many of which are software based.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 16, 2017 ---
    Apple didn't need Nest or any hardware company to be the leader of home automation. What it needed was to really focus on making it a "think" rather than just another ATV-like "hobby." If it had incentivized manufactures to included HomeKit compatibility in devices and made a relatively inexpensive sub-$79 Dot-like device for HomeKit Apple's home automation effort would be far ahead of Amazon right now.

    Instead Apple was asleep the wheel. Everyone laughed at Amazon when they launched the original Echo. Voice command devices were still in their infancy and just a novelty. But what company first recognized voice command's value? Apple when it bought Siri. But then TC put her in his back pocket and forgot about her for a few years. By then Amazon owned the field.
  23. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Are you sure? I'm watching Apple's HomeKit WWDC developer presentation, and it seems like the presenter clearly states that the software authentication can be added to currently shipping accessories (which are all commercial at the moment).

    "For our MFi licensees, we will be sharing more information about the implementation later".

    Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 10.01.07 AM.png

  24. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    Lowe's Iris products are not supported as well. But at least the smart phone app seems to work well for my WiFi Smart Switch #797379.
  25. joemolomo macrumors member

    May 20, 2008
    If your technically minded, you can run homebridge on a raspberry pi that deals with all communication between nest and homekit api. It's great been able to swipe up and turn it on/off. Can be buggy though, which is why i'd still love them to do it properly.

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