Is Apple HomeKit compatible with Nest? Can I use my iOS device to control my Nest smart thermostat? What about my other nest devices? These are all good questions, so we’re going to cover all that and everything in between.
Does Apple HomeKit work with Nest smart devices?
If the question is whether Nest smart devices such as the famous Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Hello Doorbell, Nest Cam, and so on— can integrate with Apple HomeKit then, sadly, the answer is unfortunately No. However, you can use and control Nest Smart Devices with our iPhone and Apple products using their app. There is an entire article on the best smart thermostats that work with Apple HomeKit here.
In my office, I use a Nest Cam inside and a Nest Learning Thermostat. I use my phone app (which works with both iOS and Android) all the time to control these Nest smart devices, but we don’t use HomeKit for these activities.
Below, we’ll dig deeper into this question and, by the end of this article, you’ll have all you need to know about Apple HomeKit, Google Nest Smart Devices, and everything in between. Also, make sure you check out the Siri to Nest Integration Hack below.
Using Nest Products with Apple Devices and iPhones
To reiterate, yes, Nest smart devices—or rather, Google Nest devices, more on this later—, can work with iPhones and Apple products: the iPad, Apple Watch, etc. You can, rather seamlessly, control Nest smart devices from these Apple products.
How to do it? Let’s use the Nest Learning Thermostat as an example here, and here is our simple step-by-step guide to doing it:
- Make sure the Nest Learning Thermostat is properly installed at your home
- Download the Nest app for iOS, and make sure both the Nest and Apple devices are connected to the same WiFi network.
- Add the Nest Learning Thermostat to the Nest App on your iPhone (or other Apple Devices)
Voila! Now you can start monitoring and controlling the Nest Learning Thermostat from your iPhone in just three simple steps.
The physical installation of the Nest Thermostat is also fairly straightforward. The package includes mounting screws, plates, and even a Nest screwdriver together with a very comprehensive installation guide. In most cases, the installation project will only take you 20-30 minutes with minor drilling.
And yes, the Nest app works with Apple Watch, and by following the same steps above we can control the Nest Learning Thermostat right from our wrist.
Using the Nest iOS App on Your iPhone
Above, we have established that while we can’t use Apple HomeKit to control Google Nest smart devices—at least for now—, the Nest app for iOs is pretty handy in controlling and monitoring these Nest devices straight from your iPhone.
In fact, Tony Fadell, one of the co-founders of Nest, is actually also a co-founder of the iPhone and has worked on the first three generations of the iPhone.
Thus, even if the Nest App is not a native HomeKit integration, using it is pretty seamless and it’s fairly obvious that the team behind the Nest App properly understood the iOS ecosystem and made the full use of iOS architecture to create a well-designed, intuitive interface.
The Nest app for iOS can:
For Nest Thermostats (Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E)
- Change the temperature directly from your iPhone and iOS devices
- View and edit automation schedule
- Get alerts on your devices when there’s any extreme temperature occurring
- Check how much energy is used by your HVAC devices, and why
For Nest Alarm systems
- Turn on and off the alarm remotely from the Nest app—anywhere you are—
- When you leave your home and forget to set the alarm, you’ll receive a Remind Me notification
- Receive a notification/alert on your iOS device (iPhone) when the alarm is triggered (i.e. when someone entered a room, a door opening, etc.)
For Nest Hello
- 24/7 on-demand video streaming from your iOS device
- Give you an alert when a human is entering the proximity of the sensor (the sensor can differentiate between humans and a thing)
- Notifies you about visitors even when they don’t ring the bell
- Two-way HD communication with someone at your door straight from your iPhone
- Use prerecorded audio to reply to visitors when you can’t answer the door
Nest Protect (Smoke and CO alarm)
- Get notification when Nest Protect senses CO (Carbon Monoxide) or smoke
- Control the alarm from your iPhone or iOS devices
- Run a Safety Checkup to test all alarms from your iPhone and iOS devices
- Check History from your iOS devices too know when the alarm is triggered and why
Nest Cameras (IQ Indoor/Outdoor, Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor, Dropcam)
- Get notification when there’s any activity
- Talk from your iOS devices to the camera’s loudspeaker system to attract attention nearby your house
- Snapshots of the last three hours—to check what you missed—
- On-demand 24/7
- 1080p HD video (Dropcam Pro and Nest Cam)
- Person alerts, familiar face alerts (Nest Cam IQ only), 30 days of video history with Nest Aware
Nest x Yale Lock
- Share passcodes to people you trust from the Nest app
- Get notified when someone unlocks or locks the door
- Your door can lock itself when the iOS device leaves your home (no longer connected to your WiFI) via Home/Away Assist and Auto-Lock
As we can see, the Nest App is quite well-rounded in its ability to control and monitor various Nest devices from Nest Learning Thermostat to Nest Smart Lock.
The Nest App works with any iOS devices (iPhones, Apple watches, iPads). If you need/want to monitor and control your Google Nest smart devices from your computer (PC/Mac), simply go to the Nest Home website here and log in with your Nest account. Quite recently, Nest also included the integration of Nest App with Apple TV (4th gen or later with tvOS 10.0).
So, with this amazing amount of control and “integration” —albeit not native integration—, do we actually need that HomeKit integration with Nest devices? Let’s dig a bit deeper below.
The Siri to Nest Thermostat Integration Hack
What about Siri commands? Although it’s not a direct HomeKit replacement, there are iOS apps like Thermo Watch that allows us to control Nest thermostat devices via Siri voice commands. For example, we can tell Siri something like “Hey Siri, increase temperature by 64 degrees” after we’ve set up the Thermo Watch app.
Technically, we can replicate all functions offered by HomeKit integration via the Nest app in combination with third-party apps. It’s not a native integration, so we’ll need to put in some extra work to configure stuff. Yet, arguably it can work just as well.
If you do want a thermostat, smart security camera, smart light, or other smart devices that can directly integrate with HomeKit, however, we do have a lot of viable options from popular and reliable brands like Ecobee, Belkin WeMo or Phillips Smart Hue, among other brands.
What Exactly is Apple HomeKit?
A common misconception is that Apple HomeKit is a form of smart home hub or smart speaker hardware, similar to Amazon Echo. Arguably, this is due to a very similarly-named popular product, the Google Home.
In truth, Apple HomeKit is actually a software framework—obviously by Apple and for the Apple ecosystem— that lets us control smart home devices from various brands (that support integration with HomeKit) all in one single dashboard.
So, in practice, with Apple HomeKit we can adjust our smart light device, for example, the Phillips Hue, iDevices smart outlet and Yale smart lock all in the HomeKit dashboard.
We can also create templates for multiple rooms from the HomeKIt, so we can create different environments and ambiance, and change between them instantly with just a single tap from your iPhone or iOS device.
HomeKit, being Apple’s native software framework, can be triggered with Siri commands such as “Hey Siri, turn off all the lights in the Living Room” or “Hey Siri, play my evening playlist in Dinah’s Room”. As we can see, we can make the most of HomeKit’s Room functionality with Siri commands, one of its key highlights.
Why Doesn’t Nest Work With HomeKit?
My guess is that Apple doesn’t play well with Google since Google owns Android, the largest competitor of the iOS platform. Google also owns Nest which launched back in 2011 (purchased in 2014) and is unarguably a smart home pioneer. The same way that Amazon doesn’t always play well with Google, possibly because of some of their direct competition with some of their products and services.
A common misconception is, however, that HomeKit lost Nest integration after Nest was acquired by Google, but in truth, HomeKit was only released several months after the acquisition.
For whatever reason, HomeKit doesn’t offer as many device integrations compared to Google Home (Google Assistant), Samsung SmartThings, or Amazon Alexa. However, recently more and more brands like Ecobee, Phillips Hue, and Logitech—among others— made the jump to integrate with Apple Homekit.
Part of the reason why many brands—including Nest, for now—, didn’t offer integrations with HomeKit may have been due to Apple requiring MFI chipset as a prerequisite for HomeKit integration, and many brands simply didn’t want to make the necessary investments.
Since 2017, however, Apple has lifted this requirement, and now brands can connect with HomeKit with just a software protocol. Yet, we still haven’t heard any word from both Apple and Nest Labs until today.
Would it Matter?
Answering this will be fairly subjective.
On the one hand, a HomeKIt user might argue that an app—no matter how good and seamless function-wise—, is still not as valuable as a true HomeKit integration where we can control everything in a single interface (and Siri commands).
On the other hand, the Nest app for iOS, as we’ve established above, offers a really good set of features that can replace HomeKit integration—function-wise—.
Summary: Does Nest Work With HomeKit?
We’ve learned that there’s no direct—or native—integration between Nest Thermostat and other Nest devices with Apple HomeKit.
However, there are plenty of ways to emulate the same functionality by using the Nest app for iOS, combined with other apps like Thermo Watch.
Nest devices, especially the renowned Nest Learning Thermostat, are still some of the best smart devices around especially due to their elegant, minimalist design that will look great in any smart home, paired with their rich sets of features.
With that being said, we shouldn’t dismiss Nest smart devices even without the direct integration with HomeKit. Nest app is really well-built and reliable, and we can easily monitor and control Nest devices via iPhone or other Apple devices.
FAQ: Using HomeKit With Nest Devices
Do Any of Nest Devices Work With Apple HomeKit?
As of the writing of this articl, no Nest smart devices and products offer direct integrations with Apple Homekit.
When will Nest Labs offer integrations with HomeKit?
This question has been asked ever since the introduction of Apple HomeKit back in 2014, and until today, Apple, Nest Labs, and Google (as the owner of Nest Labs) haven’t really answered with a clear timeline. The most common theory is that Apple and Google are still working on an agreement for the native integration to finally happen.
What Smart Thermostat Products Integrate With HomeKit?
Ecobee is probably one of the most prominent brands producing smart thermostats that also offer native integration with Apple HomeKit. Honeywell and Emerson Sensi are also honorable mentions.
In my opinion, the ecobee is probably the best option available in the market today. I personally use the ecobee4.
Do I Need HomeKit Integration To Use Nest on an iPhone/iOS device?
Fortunately, no. Nest Learning Thermostat and other Nest smart devices (Nest Hello Doorbell, Nest Cam Outdoor/Indoor, etc.) can be controlled via the Nest app for iOS. The only function/feature you don’t get is Siri voice command (see the hack for Nest thermostats above). If you have Amazon Echo(Alexa) or Google Assistant-enabled devices, you can also use them to control the Nest devices.
Is Using Nest Devices in the Apple Ecosystem Worth It?
In our opinion, yes. Although we don’t have a native integration of Apple HomeKit, the amount of control we get from the Nest app, as well as other third-party apps are still sufficient.
This is considering the fact that Nest smart devices—especially the renowned Nest Learning Thermostat—, are among some of the best, well-designed smart home appliances available today.