HomeKit Support for Nest Smart Products Unlikely Anytime Soon

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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".

nest thermostat
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.

Top Rated Comments

Chupa Chupa Avatar
45 months ago
Yawn. Who the Hell needs Google Nest when Ecobee's smart thermostats are excellent.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Red Oak Avatar
45 months ago
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
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
45 months ago

Yawn. Who the Hell needs Google Nest when Ecobee's smart thermostats are excellent.

Those of us who already have a Nest installed would like it. Free upgrade of compatibility vs paying twice for the same thing....
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scwinsett Avatar
45 months ago
Well then I guess I have “no plans” to buy a Nest
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
45 months ago

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.

From the first article:

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.

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
45 months ago

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.

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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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