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…
Nest says the app now works in both portrait and landscape modes, so you “won’t have to turn the phone sideways to set your Thermostat to Away or view settings” (the Settings icon is now on the top right). You can tap on a Nest device to get a nice full-screen overview of its states and settings.
– Quiet Time is a brand new 4.0 feature that allows you to set times when noisy stand-alone humidifiers and dehumidifiers won’t turn on, regardless of the humidity. That can keep the house quiet in critical moments, like your kid’s afternoon nap.
– Heat Pump Balance is getting an upgrade, making Balanced and Comfort settings more efficient and using multiple stages of heat for pre-heating.
– Your Nest Thermostat is now smarter about when to switch between fuel types in dual-fuel systems in order to better protect your system and provide more consistent heating.
– Your Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat can now connect to improve the Auto-Away algorithm and shut down your heating system if there’s a CO emergency.
The all-new Nest Protect management comes with handy battery life and last manual test indicators, the list of alarms with status lights (green, yellow or re for both smoke and carbon monoxide), the last device Wi-Fi update state and more.
“Assuming there’s no emergency, this happens every half hour in a wired Nest Protect and, to save power, every 24 hours in a battery-powered Nest Protect”.
In case of emergency, Nest Protect immediately connects to your home Wi-Fi network to send you a notification.
The schedule feature (picture above) takes advantage of landscape view though you can now quickly switch from heating to cooling, adjust the fan timer, check Energy History or update your schedule without having to turn your phone upside down.
“We’ve also improved several heating features on the Nest Thermostat to help you save energy this winter,” the blog post reads.
Protect smoke detector support: Home (left), Messages (middle) and Settings (right).
The visual makeover makes it easier to see the temperature outdoors in the top left, get an at-a-glance overview of the animated weather conditions, switch between Home and Away with a touch of a button and more.
There’s also a new icon representing all of the Nest Protect devices in your home along with Heads-Up and Emergency Alarm stats and a gauge showing the temperature you’ve set on your Nest Thermostat, with orange/blue representing heating/AC.
Nest Home screen (left) and Notifications (right).
In-app notifications ensure you don’t miss a thing with.
These include notifications for Heads-Up or Emergency Alarm alerts, or when the batteries get low, filter needs changing and more. Diving deeper in Messages, one can get more information about critical events such as smoke in the living room.
“First a Heads-Up, then an emergency alarm if the danger escalates, then a notification that the smoke is clearing,” explains Nest. You can selectively turn on/off features like Pathlight and other stuff in Settings.
Here’s changelog for the version 4.0 update:
Redesigned from the ground up including full landscape and portrait modes
– Beautiful, animated weather
– More detailed “Where” location settings for Nest devices
New for Nest Protect
– Nest Protect support, including setup, settings and messages
– Results of Nest Protect manual and self tests
– Messages and push notifications for important events, like Heads-Up, Emergency Alarm, and low battery levels
– Directly contact emergency services in the case of a smoke and carbon monoxide event
– “What to Do” instructions during a smoke and carbon monoxide event
– Support for new Nest Sense features – Nest Wave, Pathlight, Nightly Promise and Heads-Up
New for Nest Thermostat
– Arrows to easily increase and decrease target temperature
– Support for Nest Protect to improve Auto-Away
– Support to have Nest Thermostat turn off heat when Nest Protect detects high levels of carbon monoxide
These updates are being pushed to the Nest iOS/Android app over the next few days, the company said. To check if the app has been updated to version 4.0, go to Technical Info in Settings.
The updates will go out automatically, “so you don’t have to do anything”. Nest added that the web interface on nest.com has been redesigned to match the mobile apps.