What's the deal with Nest?

(Cory S) #1

The API has been out for ages. My TV remote got support for it within weeks. Trying to make a decision on what to go with in the new house. I know there is unofficial support, but I want something less hackey.

Is Nest support coming, or is there a reason (political or otherwise) that it is being ignored?

(sidjohn1) #2

If you want officially supported these are all your device options. http://www.smartthings.com/compatible-products/ I heard really good things about the ecobee.
One of the reasons smartThings has an open API is so that they don’t have to develop official support for everything, it keeps their cost down and allows smartthings to not have a monthly fee. I own a nest and the the community device works perfectly. I really couldn’t ask for more.

If you own a nest or want to own a nest and need help adding it to smartthings there is a whole community willing to help at the very least point you to the documentation to get it added.

(Cory S) #3

I feel it does our platform a disservice to tell people to install custom hacky device types. The open API is great, but it should be intended for niche market solutions, not the most popular smart thermostat on the market. This is part of the reason I have never recommended smartthings to friends or family. Furthermore the SmartThings API doesn’t allow for us to even create a good experience for Nest.

My question was if official support is planned, and it be good to know if anyone knows what the hold up is. The last conversation I had with Ben Edwards was the hold up was simply due to SmartThings temperature adjustment method not complying with Nest’s terms of use for the API. Something about the graphics used to demonstrate the function of the button. That was probably 6 months ago.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

As far as I know, official Nest support is coming, and the delay is somewhat “political”.

Supposedly, Nest has some strict data collection / privacy policies. This has two impacts that hamper integration.

  1. It can only be via Nest Cloud (there is no direct LAN IP or Thread access).

  2. SmartThings must limit what is stored in the event logs.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

If Nest has such a fussy policy, then the phrase “simply due to” does not apply!

It is worth deciding who is being the less cooperative partner in this situation… But very difficult to determine.

Google’s “Works With Nest” (#ThoughtfulHome) has dozens of partners and growing. It is quite notable that SmartThings is absent from this list.

The reality is, unlike Ecobee and a few other thermostat vendors, Nest is a growing Smart Home Thoughtful Home™ platform of its own accord, and thus, a direct competitor of SmartThings.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #6

I stopped recommending Nest to people based on their policies. I applaud ST for not bowing to their pressure or change their policies to conform to Nest’s developer requirements.

Sure, others might just be ignoring those restrictions and break the rules, but ST is doing the right thing.

Meanwhile, those “custom hacky device types” seem to be good enough for most people if they want to get unofficial connectivity.

Frankly, that is the great part of the ST ecosystem. If it doesn’t exist write it yourself, or go to github and grab someone else’s code and install it yourself.

I don’t see how what someone wrote in their spare time and is allowed to be viewed in the open is somehow worse then closed source code that you have no idea what is happening with your data.

If you want to connect your nest to your ST system, you can. Just not in any official way. And that is not a flaw in ST, it is one of their strongest points. Show me another platform that allows you to do that (without requiring hacked software or a dealer involved)?

(Craig Caruso) #7

I remember a ST video saying Nest support coming soon.

(Ron S) #8

And probably the Nest mobile app is going to be their controller app. I have couple of nest products (not the thermostats but the dropcams and nest cams and works with nest app stuff) and you can pretty much do nada with their app when you compare it to the ST mobile app unless you own a nest thermostat. It boasts of Philips hue/Rachio Iro integration blah blah but have yet to see or hear anything to that effect. Rachio sprinklers will turn on by itself if fire is detected by Nest protect (smoke detector)… They seriously claim that. I have never ever seen a sprinkler taking a tinkler on a house.

Nest plus st mobile app may make sense…

(Cory S) #9

Have you used the custom nest device types? To no fault of the people who volunteered their time to make them, they aren’t that great because the SmartThigns app simply doesn’t have a way to support them well, Changes need to be made on the app side, and new APIs and calls need to be added which the independants devs have no access to. That is why a “closed source” app is better. It is also why I asked if there was political fallout. In my experience that can be a much harder barrier to get over then any technical limitation, and it would be good to know about before investing in ~750 dollars worth of thermostats.

(Jason Mok) #10

Just FYI, the official version of Nest integration with ST is the same author @Dianoga who created the unofficial version. Other than the unfriendly to general consumer installation process, every other user experience would be the same.

(Cory S) #11

Good to know, thank you.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #12

Yes, and I wrote an improved version that works flawlessly with the v2 of the public Nest API prior to their official API release.

It still works just fine, just unofficial.

What API calls does the thermostat need that it doesn’t have? Everything is there… How do independent developers not have access? It’s a public API?

Why is closed source better? Why would you think that the official ST app would be closed source? If it isn’t would it be worse?

Yes, there is political fallout from the two trying to agree on a platform. Ironically Nest is a closed system with a restrictive API to any developer, just read it.

ST is an open platform. The two are going to have to agree to disagree or ignore the rules in order to integrate officially.

But I don’t see how not having official integration in any way de-values the ability to control your Nest thermostat using a community developed device type? If it is broke or lacking full features, it can and probably already has been fixed, sitting in a github repo somewhere.

(Craig Caruso) #13

@pstuart do you have a link to your nest code?

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #14


I don’t use it anymore, but its based on the same code as other around here. I believe there is a better one with humidity and other features that are supported. But feel free to compare all the nest community devicetypes out there.

The beauty of open source.

(Craig Caruso) #15


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #16

Oh I stand corrected, I remember now I had a small glitch in heat and cool set points in auto mode. I don’t remember if I fixed it or not, never got to AC mode before I pulled the t-stat of the wall and replaced it.

If you run into any issues, let me know. I can’t connect to my nest anymore, but I could probably fix it pretty quick if I can remember the edge case…


I don’t believe this is true. The “official” Nest integration would be greatly stripped down as we would have to remove functionality in order to allow you to connect Nest to SmartThings. For example - you’d only be able to use it with certain SmartApps (as defined by Nest).

SmartThings - Not Ready For The REAL World ?!
[REMOVED] Nest Manager
(Jason Mok) #18

You got a point there. So, in a way user experience with “official” integration will never be better than a unofficial integration because of Nest restraints ;).

You may be disappointed if ST release it now.

(John S) #19

“less hackey”? If smartthings developed an app or device type for Nest, it would have the same implementation - the community written one uses the same Nest API (and has been working flawlessly for me for months)

just FYI, the standard zwave thermostat device type supplied by ST works with the CT-100 thermostat I have downstairs, but the modified version from the community adds humidity and battery level and drains the batteries slower - in other words, it’s “better” :smile:

Don’t fear the community developed software. It’s no different than apps in the iPhone app store.

(Cory S) #20

I actually installed one of the device types last night to give it another try. I tried it last year, and the experience was horrible. I have to say it has come a long way. It doesn’t work perfectly (numerous sync, presence, and display bugs) but it is very usable now. I’ll give it a run for a few days and see how well ti works before outfitting the new house. I primarily just wanted to have its sensors accessible via other apps anyway. I’d prefer to let it use its own smarts for adjustments.

To be clear my concerns were not against community written software (My most valuable apps are community written). it was that the community may have to work around barriers because of not having ST & Nest support. Just like if a dev were to try to bring motorolas ambient notification display tech to an iPhone (or any other phone). It may sorta work, but it would not work nearly as well as on the Moto X with the APIs and hardware support for it.