I recently posted about my first month using the Nest. However I didn’t get too much into all the web and mobile controls. This was in part due to how long the post already was, but also because this week Nest came out with their new Nest 2.0 software. This adds to the already great software the features of Enhanced Energy History, Airwave™ cooling technology, anymore info and menus across all the nest systems (Nest Unit, the web, iOS, & Android). All this in addition to all the features that helped me fall in love with the Nest in the first place.
I’m going to be covering a bunch of features here, but it’s worth opting that unless specifically mentioned, all these features are available on all of the platforms the Nest is on. That is to say something you can do on the web is available on the iPhone, and iPad, and Android. Theres a few things that the mobile platforms can do the web can’t, and vice versa, and few options that work better on different platforms, but for the most part you can take the experience of one system and apply it to everything else.
The nest software works on web browsers and mobile platforms. In order to use Nest remotely you’ll need a Nest Account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to make one. You just need an email address. To use the Nest Mobile app, you’ll either need: iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iOS 4.2 or later running the Nest iOS app, or Android smart phone with Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) or later running the Nest Android app. And of course you’ll need a Nest Learning Thermostat that’s installed and connected to Wi-Fi.
When you log into your Nest account, either on your mobile device or the website you will be presented with your home screen. On the right is your general Home icon and to the right all your Nest units in the location (up to 5). The home will glow with a yellow light if it’s registered (or told) people are home, dark if set to away. The background will reflect both the time of day (lighter for day, darker for night) as well as the weather (rain, snow, etc).
The Nest units will show whatever the Nest units are set to (not the current temperature). Clicking on one will bring up both the current temperature where that unit is as well as what temperature it is set to. Up and down arrows will appear for manually raising and lowering the temperature.
Speaking of temperature, on top it shows the location as well as the outside temperature. You can also choose from a drop down different locations if you are managing multiple homes or systems.
Also for those using the website directly is a Support tab. This gives you (shock) support links: general problems, troubleshooting, and links to the full support site.
Here you have all your Nests at the location (you can manually add them, or if on a device on that wi-fi network it can auto add). You also can edit your zip code and location names.
There is tons of information in this panel, and it was what I originally was going to complain about it missing. But no longer with this new update. When selecting a Nest unit and the Energy tab you can see in a glance your heating and cooling use.
Clicking on the bar will result in a much more in-depth bar showing when it was heating and cooling. It shows what temperatures it set itself to, either because of a schedule or due to it’s learning features. It also has icons for when it set itself to auto-away. This is represented but the little house.
Energy saving (or losing) is represented two ways.
- A green leaf on the left side shows the temperature being set in a way that helped reduced your energy consumption. This could be due to the temperature the nest was set to, or auto-away features.
- On the right is a cloud icon that indicates when the energy-saving could be tracked to the weather itself helping you out. You still save energy, but not due to any thing “green” on you or Nest’s part. Still rather neat to be able to see that side of the equation too.
- When you see this one on the right, that means your adjustments effected things. This could be good or bad, and is rated against the weekly average’s energy use for that unit.
There s a few minor differences between the mobile app and website but both serve the same purpose. At first it displays the full weekly schedule with all heating and cooling temperatures.
On the web version it’s very straight forward. You click add and place a dot on the time you want to modify. Simply click up and down to set the temperature and your done. Modifying existing temperature is as simple. Just click to change the temperature, or drag around to change the time. Also once clicked you may choose to remove it as well. You also have the option to copy an entire day and apply it to other days of the week. Very handy.
The mobile version is similar. To change a day you click the day. From there you get a day view, and proceed in a similar manner. Click add to add a new dot and drag it to the right spot. Moving it up and down increases or decreases the temperature. Clicking remove allows you to select whatever temperature dot you need to get rid of.
At A Glance
This section is pretty self explaining. When choosing settings you can see the Nest unit at a glance. This includes the name of the unit, current temperature, the temperature it’s set to keep things at, any fan settings, and the humidity. There’s also the option to show things in Fahrenheit or Centigrade.
The learning section gives the general information about that unit. Here you can tell it to use its auto-scheduling and auto-away function. If you have time before reaching temperature it will display here. Also it will show if you have the last 10 days of energy history available.
Here you can set the auto-away function (yes redundant form the Learning panel, but makes sense). You can also set what the away temperature is set to. Each unit can have its own away setting. It also gives a “suggested” away temperature. To change you slide the dot from the right to the left. If you have cooling you will have two lines, one red (heat) and one blue (cooling).
This varies slightly depending how you get to it. On Mobile devices it shows your fuel type, central air, as well as a safety temp (minimum your nest will allow the temperature to get). There is also a button to show the wiring. On the web it displays this section along with everything else. You can’t change anything here besides the minimum temperature, as these things must be done on the device itself.
Settings & info
There’s a few other items in the settings pane as well. Technical info has the model number, serial numbers, MAC addresses and battery voltage. You can show and set the Thermostat Lock as well as a reset which will restore everything to defaults.
There are a few things I’d like to see from the Remote Apps. I’d like some way of recording or at least exporting more than 10 days of energy history. If nothing else to compare year over year statistics for data hogs like myself. It would also be nice if the motion sensor showed when it last sensed someone. Technically doesn’t relate to the temperature, but it has the info already, seems a waste not to share it.