Tony Fadell on Nest deal, relationship with Apple, Google data sharing, home automation and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 24, 2014

The iPod Godfather and Nest Labs co-founder and CEO, Tony Fadell, sat down with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to talk specifics of the recently announced $3.2 billion Google deal, why he sold to the search monster, Nest’s relationship with Apple, the future of controlling household products and a few other topics of interests, here are your soundbites… Read More


Some theories on why Apple didn’t buy Nest…

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 14, 2014

Google’s acquisition of the smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs, which came out of the blue yesterday, has certainly set tongues wagging. And when you think of it, the shock and awe didn’t stem from the business side of things – it came from buying users of a lovable service in a non-physical space, but whose relationship with the service is part physical.

And to think it all began like a fairy-tale…

Here’s a cutesy little startup led by Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer who used to lead the iPod’s development over seventeen generations before leaving Cupertino amid feud with design guru Jony Ive and iPhone software head Scott Forstall to co-found Nest Labs, along with fellow Apple staffer Matt Rogers.

“Starting a business focused on the lowly thermostat seemed like a crazy idea at the time,” Fadell wrote yesterday in a blog post. Turned out a lot of people fell in love with his smart thermostat. Just as Nest was about to complete another round of funding, Google swept in and bought the company outright for $3.2 billion in cash.

Sources claim Google was the only serious bidder and Apple was not in the mix. Heck, the iPhone maker didn’t even bother to put up a fight. But why? Here are some of the more popular theories floating around (feel free to add your own in the comments)… Read More


And just like that, Google buys smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2014

The Internet giant Google has announced that it has bought Nest Labs, the maker of a family of iPhone-controlled smart thermostat and smoke and carbon monoxide detector devices for connected homes. Nest will continue to operate independently of Google and won’t share customer data with them. Nest was founded by the brilliant engineer Tony Fadell who used to work at Apple where he was charged with the iPod music player project.

Yes, the iPod Godfather now works for Google! The transaction is valued at a whopping $3.2 billion in cash. Google paid quite handsomely to buy Nest, didn’t they? Considering Nest raised about $80 million in venture funding, the acquisition qualifies as one of the most profitable exit strategies among Silicon Valley startups.

iDownloadBlog’s Jeff Benjamin reviewed the Nest learning thermostat and was impressed with its sleekness and functionality, the $249 price point be damned… Read More


Nest founder Tony Faddell spotted with Jony Ive’s (RED) Mac Pro

By Cody Lee on Dec 11, 2013

Remember last month when we told you that Jony Ive’s one-of-a-kind Mac Pro sold for nearly $1 million at his Product (RED) auction? And do you remember thinking who in the world would pay that much money for a computer? Well it looks like the answer is Tony Faddell.

Photographer Kevin Abosch posted a handful of tweets this afternoon with photos of the ‘father of the iPod’ and Nest founder posing next to the (RED) Mac Pro, as well as the solid gold EarPods from the same auction. The two items combined sold for close to $1.5 million… Read More


How to control your Nest thermostat from the menu bar

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 4, 2013

I wouldn’t call myself a Nest Learning Thermostat early adopter, but I did acquire one fairly early in the game, and I haven’t looked back. The Nest, as you’re likely well aware of, is the new-aged thermostat from iPod designer Tony Fadell. The Nest allows users to control the thermostat from anywhere in the world using a web browser, or by using an iOS app for the iPad or iPhone.

Mac users have sort of been left out in the cold; pun intended. Desktop users have basically been relegated to using the web browser in order to control the Nest, as there is no official Nest app available for OS X. The good news is that developer Joseph Workman has taken the initiative to wrap the Nest’s web interface into a handy utility called Climate, and it runs in the Mac’s menu bar. This makes it so that you can quickly access the Nest’s temperature controls and other features from anywhere on your Mac.

We’ve taken the initiative to create a video walkthrough in order to showcase to you how Climate works, and why it’s so beneficial to Mac users. Jump past the break to see all the details. Read More


Nest app overhauled top to bottom, now with full support for Protector smoke detector

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 15, 2013

Nest, a startup run by the iPod Godfather and brilliant engineer Tony Fadell, made a name for itself with a sleek, intelligent thermostat (check out Jeff’s hands-on) and the beautiful smoke and carbon monoxide detector dubbed Nest Protect. Today, the company has announced a big update coming soon to its companion application for the iPhone and iPad to allow for easier and, well, eye-candy management and robust remote control of your app-enabled Nest devices.

For starters, the app’s been redesigned from the ground up and now supports both landscape and portrait orientation and includes gorgeous animated weather and more detailed Where location settings for Nest devices.

The headline new feature is support for both the Nest Thermostat and the upcoming Nest Protect smoke-detector, making it a one-stop solution for Nest device management, from the palm of your hand… Read More


Nest launches Protect, jaw-dropping smoke and carbon monoxide detector

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2013

Former Apple hardware engineer Tony Fadell needs no introduction. After leading iPod development and helping build the iPhone, he left Apple for his own startup, Nest.

There, the brilliant engineer banded together with a talented team comprised of former Apple wizards to create the Nest learning thermostat (Jeff had to say a bunch of nice things about it).

That was just the beginning of Nest’s journey to the app-enabled, connected home. Today, the startup unveiled its second major product, a smart and gorgeous smoke and carbon monoxide alarm dubbed Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide. Like the Nest thermostat, the Protect takes everything that we hate about existing smoke detectors and re-imagines what those life-saving appliances should be and how they should function… Read More


Corporate coach alludes to Apple’s next breakthrough: wearable

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 12, 2013

Bill Campbell, Chairman of the Intuit board, has been a member of Apple’s board of directors since Steve Jobs’s return in 1997. Simply known as the “coach,” Campbell sat down with the Intuit CEO and dropped a few notable hints regarding Apple’s direction in the post-Jobs Tim Cook era. Although he wouldn’t discuss specifics of Apple’s pipeline, reading between the lines subtly suggests that something incorporating wearable technology might soon become Apple’s latest and greatest creation. We have a vide right past the fold… Read More


Tales of a connected home: how iOS is changing modern living

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 23, 2012

I’m a huge proponent of using technology to make my life easier, especially around the home. Technology for the home has been around for quite some time in the form of home automation systems, lighting, and so forth. Unfortunately, such systems have been extremely pricey in the past, or overly confusing to setup and maintain.

Enter the smartphone.

Smartphones, and in particular the iPhone, have served as a great equalizer over the past few years. I can do things with my phone that I never would have dreamed of just a few years ago, and it gets better with each passing year.

Inside, I’ll reflect on some of the cool things that I’ve been able to accomplish lately with my iPhone, along with videos and links to articles that cover the subjects more in-depth. Have a look… Read More


Nest launches sleeker thermostat, CEO says he’d never compete with Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 2, 2012

We covered the sexy Nest Learning Thermostat before , with Jeff saying calling it “the thermostat that Cupertino would have created if they were into that sort of thing”. Today, the company took the wraps off a new version of the Nest thermostat which has been re-engineered for smaller footprint and now looks even more futuristic. Also, company founder Tony Fadell, a former Apple engineer who worked on the iPhone and iPod projects, explains why he doesn’t plan on competing with Apple, despite hiring former Apple engineers on his 130-people team… Read More


Apple seriously considered giving the iPhone a physical keyboard

By Cody Lee on Apr 28, 2012

We’ve heard rumors in the past that Apple had an iPhone prototype with a physical keyboard floating around its Cupertino labs. But the speculation has never been confirmed or denied. Until now.

Tony Fadell, a long-time Apple employee turned Nest founder, was on The Verge’s tech talk show On The Verge last night. And the ex-Senior Vice President dropped some insider information about Apple’s popular handset… Read More


Nest thermostat unboxing and first impressions

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 20, 2012

The Nest Learning Thermostat is one of those products that makes it finally feel like we’re living in the future that we envisioned as children. One step below Jetsons level tech, the Nest harbors contemporary tech in a pseudo-retro styled metal and plastic body that’s a bit unassuming, if not altogether ironic.

When you sit and contemplate about what the Nest is doing, it doesn’t seem all that groundbreaking, especially considering some of the advancements in technology that we’ve witnessed over the last decade. The wow factor comes from the fact that the creators of Nest found an industry that didn’t dare veer far from the status quo, and essentially turned it upside down… Read More