Thermo Watch - control your Nest Thermostat

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by Marconelly, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Marconelly, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Marconelly macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #1
    * Sep 24. 2017 Update *

    I have confirmed that the latest 5.6 version of the app works - flawlessly - on the Series 3 Watch LTE connection. In fact, it works even faster than when the watch is connected to the phone's BT connection. This is another thing that Nest's own watch app, at least at the time of writing this, cannot do. Similarly, my other Nest app, Watch Cam, also works great over the Watch LTE.

    * May 23. 2017 Update *

    Version 5.0 is now out, and it now also features Apple TV app (on top of the Watch app and a Notification Center Widget). One purchase unlocks the download for both the iOS and Apple TV.
    Thermo Watch - App Store Link

    Considering that Nest has released their own watch app, I feel it would be a good idea to post some advantages Thermo Watch has over their app:

    • Watch app works over the LTE connection on the Series 3 Watch. No phone needed.
    • Apple TV app
    • Notification Center Widget
    • Quickest adjustment possible - you don't have to wait for an initial sync to complete before you can start adjusting the temperature.
    • Complications on the Watch app. Complications show the set temperature, ambient temperature, humidity, HVAC mode and status.
    • Audible and tactile feedback (on both the watch app and the widget) to confirm that the change you made has actually been applied on your thermostat.
    • Full screen swipe/up down on the watch app to increase/decrease the temperature.
    • Faster Watch app - both in terms of of how quickly the thermostat can be adjusted, and how responsive the app is.
    • Voice control through the watch app. The app can be set to require just one tap on the complication to launch into the voice input mode, making it very close to native Siri control experience.
    • Settings that, for example, make the digital crown sensitivity, tactile feedback on crown spinning, and a few other things adjustable.

    As always, I'll keep updating it with anything useful I can think of, and I'll be listening to any feedback, so tell me what you think.

    * Original Post Below *

    After many weeks of perfecting something that has started as a personal project born out of my frustration with the lack of the official Nest app for the Apple Watch - and the lack of quality in the available 3rd party apps, today I've released Thermo Watch. It's the app that lets you control your Nest Thermostat using your watch.

    - The app lets you adjust the temperature in the simplest and quickest way I could think of - right after you launch it (from the watch face, tapping on the complication) you spin the crown to adjust the temperature.
    [​IMG]

    - In the heat/cool mode, you first tap the dial you wish to adjust, then spin the crown. The scaling of the dials is smoothly animated - I tried to add as many of these little unobtrusive polishing touches as I could.
    [​IMG]

    - Force touch lets you access additional features, such as the hvac mode change, setting/ending the away state, fan on/off, and a novel feature where you can speak the temperature into your watch, and it will be set.
    [​IMG]

    - I really wanted to make something that won't just be useful, but feel truly native, responsive, and stable - and hopefully nearly indistinguishable in terms of quality in look, feel, and operation from Apple's own apps bundled with the watch.

    - The app has been reviewed and approved by Nest's QA department (who seemed quite impressed by it btw) and is featured on their website in the partnership program "Works With Nest":
    https://workswith.nest.com/company/marconelly/thermo-watch

    - There is a glance and a full set of complications available. One of the complications for the modular watch face is designed as a ring, so it looks like a mini thermostat dial, with the temperature number in the middle. This ring also changes color to show if the system is heating or cooling, and also shows the Away state.
    [​IMG]

    - The app can handle multiple thermostats in multiple homes - just swipe left and right to access them.
    [​IMG]

    - If you wish to feel extra geeky with the voice feature, you can even speak whole sentences. As long as there's a number somewhere in the sentence, that will work too. For setting the temperature in the heat/cool mode, you should say something like "75 dash 82", and it will set both the heat and cool dials.

    I've been using the app for several weeks now - it's been very reliable, and I find it's really the quickest way to adjust the temperature - you can start adjusting literally the moment the app opens, even before it finishes the state syncing. People at Nest have also been testing it for all kinds of unlikely edge cases, and it all worked fine.

    The app is $2.99. I figured this is something for a niche audience, and people who need it, would hopefully be willing to pay a few dollars for it. Early on I've been tempted to give it away for free, but I've spent such obscene amounts of time perfecting it, that I won't lie I wouldn't like to see some reward for it.

    You can get it from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/thermo-watch-for-nest-thermostat/id1086717755?ls=1&mt=8

    You can see some more about the app here, and read the privacy policy (in short, I don't ever have any access to any of your login info, or usage data): http://www.thermowatch.net
     
  2. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #2
    Downloaded and working!!!

    This has the potential to be one of the killer apps we've been waiting for!!!
     
  3. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    cant wait to try this out. ive tried just about all the other nest watch apps and they've sucked.
     
  4. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #4
    I didn't realize there were others. This one has worked quite well so far (24 hours!)
     
  5. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #5
    It's the very reason I've made this in the first place. If you guys notice any problems, report them here please. I'll fix anything I can ASAP.
     
  6. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I've tried

    - Kontrol
    - Thessa
    - Branch

    and attempted IFTT but never could figure it out
     
  7. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 30, 2015
    #7
    You deserve to be paid. This looks very nice. Wish I had Nest now :)
     
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    Thank you, downloading now.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    I have three nests
    My system is for heat only.

    Some recommendations.
    I turned the heat but the temp line stayed the same color.
    The nest app changes to orange. Would it bepossible to change the temp bar to when Heating is present?

    Also, something to think about and I would pay $10+ for this.
    The nest keeps track of temp, how handy hours the heating system runs.
    I would love an app that would also calculated how many gallons of oil I consume. Of course one would need to start on a full tank and also need to enter each delivery. But the thing is it could also flag when oil is needed.
    Oil companies charge for this service uber an admin fee. Include a cost per gallon feature and now it's a full blown program.

    I like your app. Congrats.
     
  9. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    Jul 5, 2008
    #9
    Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I will definitely implement the background color change for heating/cooling as an option in the next major app update. For now, there's the text in the upper left that tells you the status (heating/cooling/off). I had this in mind all along, but somehow the way I have it now seemed most aesthetically aligned with Apple's own watch apps that use the ring dials, so I left it like that as a default, until I implement the settings module. I'm planning to add a few more settings options, one of which will be the type of the visual presented in the large modular complication.

    As for the fuel measurement idea, I gave it some thought and I'm not sure a 3rd party Nest app can reliably measure this. First obstacle is that Nest doesn't expose the type of the furnace - but that, as well as the fuel capacity and the burn rate, could be entered by the user in the settings. The bigger obstacle is that I don't think I can reliably determine the time intervals that the furnace has been on, for the duration of the time that the watch app has not been used. I'll give this some more thought though - as Nest does provide up to the moment data between two application launches. I'm just not sure how far back that data goes, and if it provides relevant timestamps.
     
  10. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #10
    Thank you for the reply.
    It looks like nest simply simply sums up all the hours each thermostat is on for. The email shows shows the total hours the furnace was firing.
    This heating season is over. Next year I will have the run time and gallons for each fill up.


    I like the app. It's nice to me able to have a nice smooth watch interface.

    What about a nest camera app? :)
     
  11. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #11
    That's in my sights too, but the thing is, I don't have one, and that makes it more difficult to figure out the right approach for what someone would actually want out of a watch app for Nest camera.
     
  12. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    i found all the taps kinda distracting. what are they supposed to indicate?
     
  13. Marconelly, Mar 24, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016

    Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #13
    They are synchronized with the temperature change. One tick/tap for each degree F, or half degree C. I liked them because they sound very similar to Nest's own ticking sound when you spin the dial (but you have to have the sound enabled on the watch to hear it, otherwise you just feel taps). I figured also it allows you to change the temperature by X degrees up or down without even looking at the screen.

    When you 'settle' the spinning and the change is committed to the nest servers, you have a final double-tap, and confirmation sound, which lets you know that your thermostat has for sure received the change you requested.

    That said, disabling sound and the tapping is going to be in the options on the first major app update.
     
  14. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

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    #14

    ah ok. i dont think ive ever had the sound turned on my watch, but i get why you did it that way. and i do like the final double tap for confirmation. that was the biggest bust from the other apps i tried---i had no way of knowing if a command was sent (they usually werent).
     
  15. YatBob, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016

    YatBob macrumors member

    YatBob

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    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #15
    When viewing the app icon from the app layout on my watch, my app is dark to a point of being invisible because it blends in with the background, it is not blue like it shows on the iPhone watch app layout page


    ETA Restarting the watch resolved this issue
     
  16. Marconelly, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016

    Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #16
    I've released the 1.1 update a few hours ago. If you've updated your watch to OS2.2, make sure to get this update, as it has a fix for the unnecessary connectivity alert that started popping up due to a networking bug that Apple introduced in WatchOS2.2.

    Other than that, there's an improvement in the initial state sync speed (every time you open the app), which should now be about 1 second faster than before.


    YatBob, I know I've replied to you about that already, but if anyone else has that issue, I believe that is due to some kind of a small problem in the watchOS, as it seems that icon problem can affect any app at random. As you've noticed, restarting the watch resolves it.
     
  17. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #17
    Something that I have to note for people already using the app, or anyone discovering it through this topic:
    I have just found out that Family accounts that Nest introduced last month can't work in this app - or to my knowledge, in any 3rd party Nest app. I've talked to a dev support contact person at Nest, and they've confirmed it: Their developer API right now doesn't return any data for the user logging in using the Family account. If you use this app, you have to log in using your main, "Owner" account. Rest assured, there are no possible adverse effects of using the owner account with this app.

    This is something I didn't anticipate when making it, and even people at Nest apparently didn't QA against it, so what happens now is that the app just crashes on the phone, once you log in with the Family account. If this happens to you, just delete and reinstall it, then log in using the Owner account. I have submitted a fix for this where the app will explain the Family account situation to a user who tries to log in with such an account, instead of crashing. But since it can take Apple a week or so to approve the updates, it's better to let as many people as possible know about this. I will of course make an update to support these accounts, as soon as Nest makes it possible for me to do so.
     
  18. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #18
    Absolutely great app! The time you spent on it comes through! I LOVE how fast it launches and the Taptic feedback is perfect. That second little "kathunk" that lets you know that setting has "set in" is genius!

    This app actually shows one of the main reasons Apple Watch apps haven't been more successful... To do it well takes time and thought which most of the other App developers just haven't put into their apps.

    Thanks for the great App! I hope you at least make some cash on it to encourage you to write a few more!
     
  19. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #19
    Thank you! It really makes me happy to see that people are enjoying using something I've made :–) Also, thanks for the review on the app store - I'm sure it really means a lot for people who are on the fence, to see some vote of confidence for it.

    I have a plan to make a Nest Camera app as well, but I'm still contemplating the right approach for it. I'm also thinking of making a simple calculator app that won't be plagued by one or more flaws that makes it PITA to use, like every one that I've tried so far (either they're too slow to launch, too sluggish to respond to button pressed, the buttons are too small, or the UI and layout is just plain weird)
     
  20. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    #20
    I'll write a positive review, too. This is the best app for the Watch I've encountered.

    I just hope Nest sticks around to keep using it. Sounds like a lot of turmoil over there.
     
  21. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #21
    Despite the turmoil (which seem to be related to the staff they acquired with the Dropcam purchase) I think they'll be fine. They are after all making more profit than what Google set for them yearly to keep them on. But even if Google is dissatisfied with them, they'll just put them up for sale for someone else. I think they are successful enough, and too ingrained at this point, to just close the shop overnight.
     
  22. YatBob macrumors member

    YatBob

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    Louisiana
    #22
    I have to second everything you said, it is great to find an app that does what is supposed to do and not have issues with it, just don't make it to fancy, I have found apps that work well on initial release and as upgrades appear they become buggy
     
  23. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    any thoughts of making a companion iOS homescreen widget?
     
  24. Marconelly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Marconelly

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    #24
    Yes, I was thinking of doing that. The way my app is put together, it shouldn't be too difficult to do, and it's another useful thing that Nest bafflingly never did.

    I've noticed this myself, and I'll be super-careful about it.
     
  25. gwhizkids macrumors 68020

    gwhizkids

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #25
    @Marconelly As a developer for AW, why do you think we haven't seen more apps developed for the watch? Is it hard to develop for? Are the APIs too limited? Or is it just hard to come up with ideas for the platform?

    Personally, I think you went the right direction with keeping it (relatively) simple. One app to do one thing.
     

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