by Jason Snell
Google: Iconic Nest thermostats don’t Matter
I missed this Verge interview with Michele Turner, the senior director of Google’s home ecosystem, from back in May. It’s an interesting dive into the forthcoming Matter standard, how it works, and Google’s approach to the whole thing.
As a user of the Nest Learning Thermostat, I was curious about what generation of the device would be required for Matter support, which would allow me to finally control my Nest from the Home app without using a third-party bridge like HomeBridge. A web search uncovered Jennifer Pattison Tuohy’s interview with Turner, including this quote:
We’ve committed to our new Nest Thermostat being on Matter, and we are still evaluating if the learning thermostat can handle Matter. It does have Thread. But just because it has Thread doesn’t mean we can run Matter on it.
If you’re not up on Nest thermostats, the Nest Thermostat is the $130 de-contented version of the $250 Nest Learning Thermostat. I stayed in a rental apartment in San Diego this summer and the air conditioning was controlled by a Nest Thermostat. At first I thought it was a cheap no-brand Nest knock-off, since it kept the Nest’s circular shape but replaced its intuitive and attractive stainless steel ring with a capacitive swipe area and button on the side. So it is a cheap Nest knock-off—but one made by Google itself.
In any event, the reason I have used two Nest Learning Thermostats (the original and a second-generation model) and haven’t switched to a much more HomeKit-friendly thermostat like Ecobee, is that I really like the look of the Nest Learning Thermostat and love the spin-the-wheel interface. The low-end Nest Thermostat has nothing going for it on that score.
In any event, Google’s premium Nest thermostat might not support Matter, but its cheap knock-off will. Just great. I may end up in the arms of Ecobee after all.