Did Google buying Nest make it a rage quit... or must get? [Poll]

Earlier this week Google bought Nest for a stupefying $3.2 billion dollars, and reaction to the deal has been extreme to say the least. We saw some members of the tech community vow to rip their existing Nests from wall, stomp them into bits, and never do business with them again. We saw Apple's Phil Schiller unfollowing Tony Fadell. Yet we also saw our own Phil Nickinson and Kevin Michaluk raced out to buy Nests and get them installed. So what's to be made of all this?

I understand why people fear Google, so I can certainly see how Google getting involved with Nest could be a concern. I can also see why people who love Google would suddenly find Nest even more interesting and compelling. And, certainly, my own sympathies lie with those for whom it makes absolutely no difference either way.

What I'm really curious about is how you feel? What does Google buying Nest mean to you?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Did Google buying Nest make it a rage quit... or must get? [Poll]


Depends... If Nest collects data, and sends it to Google... They don't need any more opportunities to gather data on me than I already allow.

It doesn't... But likely will. I don't have a Nest now...and now that Google owns it, and will in all likelihood use it as another data collection tool, I'll pass...

EF the NSA! Is that PC? Send those EFers back to the communist, totalitarian USSR! Is that OK to say? I have no idea if I live in the USA. EF the NSA - pinko commie jerks!

Eh, Nest was started by former Apple designers. It never really had that bootstrappy garage startup feel to begin with. I doubt we'll see a big culture change here.

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It means nothing until we see what influence Google has on the next generation of Nest products. If you don't mind the Google ecosystem, it could potentially be a great thing. But to go out and buy a Nest because Google owns the company now, or to rip one off the wall because Google owns the company now, is just silly.

I've argued that it doesn't matter because either you're okay with smart stuff in your home or not. Shouldn't really make a difference if it's Google or some small company, unless you have a particular aversion to Google.

Mostly their blasé stance on security. Like when we found out their browser saved stored passwords in text.. their response was not exactly what I'd call encouraging. I see this as a reflection of their on-going security issues and fragmentation in their entire ecosystem.

This means to me that suddenly where my home's temp controls were secure, the next android version may well be the next least secure item in my house. Overall.. it's their attitude toward my personal security that drives me away. They will do what absolutely needed, and no more.. The concept of going above/beyond bare minimum seems foreign to them.

The next version of Nest will not run on Android.

I've never had my data leaked, sold, etc so I have no problem with Google know as much as possible considering it betters my digital life [see Google Now].

Yep. I have a crazy theory it all came about when they became Apple's competitor. I just don't recall such massive hatred prior to Android coming about.

So? The "hatred" should be due to Apple? This is what your message is implying. And it should also be categorized as hatred, no? A hint to you - when you select words characterizing behavior of some people, it mostly reveals your mental state.
I used to like google, used some of their services, until I became very, very uncomfortable with the way they become competitor, force unreasonable (for everyone except them) changes to these services, have no focus, except to become "the master of all information" no matter how.

That is, I don't hate them - but I don't like them and try to stay away from whatever they do.

No, it isn't due to Apple. You may read it that way but my comment doesn't imply such a thing.

I'm saying the actions they chose to take to compete against Apple caused those faithful to the fringe Apple supporters to take a strong distaste towards Apple. It was Google's actions, not Apple's.

Surely there are other reasons, as you pointed out.

[going to ignore the mental state comment; no need for a response]

Yikes, that last sentence was horrible, in every way. Google's whole point into monetize YOU. If you like that, that is fine. Have, fun, product,,I mean Rene, sorry, I'll be a polite Canadian, now.

google's customers are advertisers. they have no best interests in consumers. therefore, i have no faith in google will keep a firewall between google and nest. i can understand why companies like nest want to cash out and sell to other big company. but i just don't like they sell it to google. let's be honest, google's "do no evil" is a myth. it's time for people to wake up and realize that.

Because providing you with advertising thats actually pertinent to your life is evil huh? Not to mention that Google makes this explicit when you agree to use its free products. Good grief people.

Yike, why does it have to be evil ... Or put pure evil - maybe ou should seek your ou pawn prostate adverts?

The same for Apple? Maybe I mis understand...

Apple makes, the best product, for you to buy. Google sells you to it's best customers for some one else's money...

Google doesn't sell it's customers. If it did then they would be selling the data. They are not. They are selling smart ads. Big difference. That's like saying every company who pays for their products is selling their customers. If that's how you see it then Microsoft sells it's customers too because they have ads in email as well. Every app or service that is "free" has to be paid for some how. There are many more people like me who rather not save my money for other things and inturn understand they have to serve ads that sometimes I might click on to buy something so I can use the service. At no time does sell any of you information to ANYONE. They take a ton of different ads and use the data they have to smartly display it to the person they think it pertains to using smart algorithms. NOTHING IS FREE. Apple charges high margins to pay for their products. Everyone has to pay in one way or the other. People making less money are more than happy to get Googles great products / services for free or cheaper prices for targeted ads.

no, no, no …
Apple makes, the best product, for you to buy. Google sells you to it's best customers for some one else's money...

I've always had a interest in Nest. The fact Google bought them out doesn't bother me. Good for them they got 3.2 Billion. If you are on the grid someone has your data. I realized that 6 years ago when Facebook knew not only where I live but where I was at with my laptop on vacation by showing ads of what was going on in the city I was visiting.
Google knows where I go where I have been. If I use Nest they'll know my home heating habits lol. It all good though.

This is right down Apples lane. Premium priced products with high profit margins. They like Apple believe there are plenty of wealthy people to buy these high profit premium products.

Eric Schmidt has described his company's policy: "Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it."

I like many of Google's services, but at the same time they scare me. I avoid Google whenever there is a reasonable alternative, and I definitely don't want them in my home.

Meh. Can't buy the Nest Thermostat in the UK anyway. As a tech fan though stuff like this excites me no matter who makes it or owns the company. Google has my email, so there's more personal information in there than there will ever be in my thermostat.

Just saw a Nest Protect for the first time over here today though. Intrigued by it, but the wife saw the price so...

I love Google products and the ecosystem so this is a great purchase for me but I would still love to purchase if Apple was the one to buy them or Microsoft. They done great with minimal resources but to have major backing means this product is going to grow tremendously.

HAHA. I just saw my Q last week...in a closet, tucked in a box, and as unused as the day I got it and connected it. :-D LOL

Good lord dude, do you just sit here biding your time until you can make wisecracks at googles expense? Not one of your comments have any substance whatsoever.

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Calling back to the earlier imore article...when a product is an Apple Store favorite, and an acquisition causes a significant plurality of Apple fans to write about ripping their Nests off the wall or rage quitting in lockstep, the "cult" mindset seems a perfectly appropriate label.

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I'm sure there's some of that, but I don't think liking Apple and disliking Google are always one and the same.

Arguably, if Apple bought Nest it might get killed outright.

No, they kill products that aren't profitable. The same as Apple does. Google has hundreds of millions of customers across many services. If a service is either cost to much money and has a lack of customers to keep running or can be rolled into a different product then it could go away. Every company does this and the only major service than Google killed that people ever killed was Google reader which seemed like a lot of people used it but really most people moved on to things like Flip Board and Pulse type products. Don't forget engineers don't grow on trees. Just ask Apple. You'll find plenty of their software dying a slow death like their podcast app.

Yeah I have issue. I am an Android developer and a long time Google app user. No doubt Google has talent but their direction is perpetually in beta, utility based mode. I feel the Nest team had focus and was thinking about expanding to more in-home based solutions being integrated. Now the Nest product is nothing more than a test bed in a sea of products with a company who has failed in home entertainment and integration.

Maybe its not focus so much but getting tainted. Would I buy a baby monitor from Google, a security system, entertainment system, diet or running app, what I eat app, or anything that says something about me? No. Google is in the business of Ads and collecting data. THAT is where they make their money. Nest is a way to get a foot in the preverbal home data collection business.

Do people like you (scared about data collection) understand that these products REQUIRE data collection to do these advanced smart features. Google and every other company including Apple collect all your data when you use their service. It's the only way they can do smart products that can do these futuristic things. The only difference is Apple charges you up front a bunch of money to pay for these services and Google charges less to free and in turn you/me have to be ok with them paying for that by giving ads on some of their products. Even if they changed to charging high costs to pay for the service and do away with the ads every company that wants to advance their service to more like the Star Trek computer requires their system to have all your data.

Do people like you...

Some companies sell products or services. Sure, they collect data to help improve things. This would include Google. Since Google sells ads to monetize you, their interest is to gather your data and spam you -advert you. His would be the cost, yet for some his cost is too high.

I love all the stupid - "I'm scared." arguments. They are almost as good as, "What do you have to hide?" In he GoogleNSArussia - you are the product.

No one should ever trust any company. People should trust companies like Google, even less. Their incentive is to know everything about you. Google's incentive is to cross creepy line and keep going. Google's incentive is to use, sell or otherwise monetize our data. I suppose hey want to keep. Some trust - maybe. Here are enough that seem to blindly trust Google. Have fun.

That "perpetual beta" corporate culture is a product of their web search + web apps origins.

"Doesn't quite work, but we'll push it out, call it a beta, and push out a bug fix later. Ship it."

Note, Yahoo buy good companies all the time whom end up dying. Google's track record is better but not by much (i.e. Sparrow).

Doesn't really matter to me. I use Google services and products, I'm typing on one right now, and I can't exactly declare myself a conscientious objector.

Hell, I walk around with multiple devices that track my exact location. I don't own a Nest and I've been wishy washy on getting one but just for the sake of argument: what do I care about someone knowing what the temperature in my house is?

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I guess it depends what info it can get. Who cares if Google knows what temperature you like your crapper? But if they know if you're home or not, when you're sleeping, what room you're in, I think I'd pass. They seem pretty pricey anyway for what they do.

I don't understand people and their concern for privacy. WAKE UP! You haven't had privacy in a long time. You are monitored at work during the day. "They" know where you go because of street cams and toll way passes. Use a credit or debit card? They know where you are and what you buy. They know what you watch on tv. Use electricity? They know when you wake up and go to sleep. You want privacy? Quit your job, move to the middle of nowhere to a cabin, cut all cords and don't you dare buy anything with something other then cash. Privacy? If you think you have a shred of privacy, you're oblivious.

100% true. There are numerous other examples that illustrate your point too. Privacy is a concept of history.

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People are living in a bubble if they think they have privacy..if that's what you care about the stop using anything that involves the Internet. People your getting free services and yet you complain about targeted ads. You may say I'll pay x amount a month to use Gmail etc but mass consumers will not. As I said if your care about privacy Google is the least of your worry. Google have to follow laws etc and at most keep there consumers happy and the moment they break your privacy they will fail. What you should be worried about governments etc they may laws but seem to be breaking them all the time. What I have realised from social sites etc it's the Apple users etc who are up in arms and no real surprise when you have people like Phil schiller unfollowing nest and it's ceo. Anyways if you want to use Google services then use it and if you don't then don't but don't go crying about this and that when you happy to use there services for free.

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Some of us have some privacy. Maybe you need to wake up, fmflex - you could be living in a distopia.

I don't get how Google buying this company is a privacy invasion. Who cares if Google knows what the temperature in your house is? Does it really matter?

I just want to know how everyone would feel if Apple bought nest...

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I voted other. Not sure yet. If they kill it or make it android only, obviously worse.

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I don't think they'd make it Android only. That's one of the things I love about Google, is that they make their devices available across both Android and iOS. Just look at how many apps they have for iOS, and the Chromecast compatibility.

I have both the thermostat and protect. Until you've tried them it's not fair to say "meh". They are expensive but in my opinion well worth the money.

In regards to google buying nest time will tell. I don't think it's bad but it's too early to tell.

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It's not unfair and that logic is flawed. First, I can say exactly what i want. I don't have to try things to tell i'm not interested in them. I don't have to drive a motorcycle to know i'm not interested in buying a motorcycle. I don't have to do heroine to tell you I don't want to do heroine. I don't care about my thermostat or my smoke alarm. I don't spend time on them. I know what they do. I've seen them. I've been to the website. If the only sales pitch is well buy us then you've failed because that's not a sales pitch that's an end result. and worth the money? Not to me. But apple products are way overpriced so i'm not surprised that people would find it worth the money. because people that love apple products or love gadgets are often fine with overpaying for tech. I'm not that guy. Spend your money how you want but Nest products are a massive "MEH." Overhyped thermostat.

Based on your response, I am thinking you either don't pay the utilities bill, or you think you can do the job just as well manually as they do automatically.

They people that care about this tech are people that care about their heating or A/C bill and realize that one of these devices can pay for themselves pretty quickly.

Heroine? Opiates are one hell of a drug category

Maybe the Nest is worse. What monetization does Google Putin you?

Nest isn't available in the UK and I hadn't heard of it before the acquisition. The UK launch is coming soon, hopefully the google deal can push the sales volume up and the unit cost down. In the UK I've been looking at Hive Active heating, which is £199 installed and whilst isn't quite as intelligent as Nest, it's wireless and seems to offer more manual setup vs learning your routine.

Had no effect on me seeing as how I was veering away from getting a Nest Thermostat anyways when they followed it up with the lame product that is the Protect.

They went from being an energy company to a company that just puts mundane hardware into fancy cases and charges 400 % markup. Sorry that's not innovative that's putting form over function.

what? are you sure? because if you pay way more for nest you can totally have get what you get now. You'll be out of money but who cares. It has a pretty case.

The anti-anti-google folks don't get it.

For many of us, we stopped using google NOT because we think that, by doing so, we eliminate risks to our privacy, but to simply MANAGE the risk. For example, internet experts have long emphasized that we can no longer eliminate risk, just manage it (I heard Bruce Schneier state this principle at a conference around 2000 or so).

Therefore, many of us anti-google folks are simply saying they've gone too far and we choose not to risk using their products or services compared to those we do use.

I saw that ronM88 helpfully stated above, "Eric Schmidt has described his company's policy: 'Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.'" Sorry, Eric, but you DID cross it.

For my part, companies I do patronize have not crossed that line (although I can't always be 100% sure, of course). With google, it's obvious they do, so staying away from them is an easy choice. It's about trust and relative trust and making informed choices, knowing--as in all of life--we cannot reduce risk completely.

I would like to suggest that google fans accept and respect that others make that choice.

What's that 3 articles in 3 days about this Google buying Nest? You keep pounding it into the readers of this website by asking that question,"should we be scared"? Are you scared when you give your credit card to that gas station attendant, are you scared when you plug your iPhone into itunes every other day, are you scared to shit in a strange bathroom. Come off the crap, nothing to write about, slow news week? You have a bug up your butt over Google. I use many Google apps on my 5S, those apps IMO are the best apps on my phone, that aside Google is not that big boogy man. I have a Nest thermastat, got it for X-Mas, love it. Google can only making it better. I think the only reason this subject is even brought up is because a one time Apple employee is a Nest employee and now a Google employee. That is just trifle. Just my Opinion. I enjoy reading your articles but these Nest articles are just ridiculous.

What is this scared part? It is simple math - Apple sells YOU products he gas attendant sold YOU gas... Google and (the NAS) and the KGB sell you.

Google is NOT a technology company. Google is an advert company

Sells you products that contain a fingerprint scanner while connected to a GPS satellite. Where's your tinfoil hat for that topic? It's completely possible as we have just seen with these revelations that iOS had a 100% success rate for the NSA back in the day.

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Not in the US. So this doesn't really apply to me. Plus, I think I'm fine with Google as a whole.

I set up a Nest with "Pro" installation (I didn't have to feel any pain & was working) 3 days after Google bought 'em. The installer said something interesting. 10 per cent after this kind of installation goes to GOOGLE. His words. Just sayin'.

By the way, my internet goes out frequently enough that Google will get crappy information from me, anyway.


I'm still not sure why Nest is better than a $50 programmable thermostat, other than it looks nicer. I was not considering buying one before Google's purchase, and I still won't.

I use a lot of Google products now (mail, calendar, drive) but I am planning on finding replacements as I cannot stand their attitude about privacy (or lack thereof), same reason I do not use Facebook.

I will not be buying one now. I wanted one, til this acquisition, and acquisition made it a NEVER because it TERRIFIES me. And since Google now owns it, Tony Fadell can say whatever he wants til he's blue in the face to save face, Google will do what Google does regardless of what he wants us to believe.

We took down our Kinect system because the idea of what that camera can do if made to do it freaked us out, same thing can be said of Nest now. I also have post its over my iMac and other apple cameras as well, just in case.

I, right now, still have my email linked through Google because of Google Apps, and my blog on Blogger, til I free it. So I have some linkage issues, for now, but I don't like being tracked by a corporation and I just don't trust that it won't all get linked and more sensors and whirlygigs won't get added with time in the "new and improved" version that gives Google everything it wants.

The problem is less about the alliance RIGHT NOW, but more that the potential that is there. So Nest tells Google you're home now, after Nest told it you were gone all night. Then it checks your Google Phone and the Google Phone of the person you brought home with you (bow chicka wow wow), and then it notes it is someone different from last night's bar hopping expedition based on another Google phone signal that Google tracked the GPS whereabouts of all night, and that you get around and like to party. Then it knows what you paid for with Google Wallet or the Square receipt that was emailed to your Gmail account. Suddenly you're getting ads for champagne on your Google Tunes Barry White station, and in the morning Aspirin and Valtrex and Viagra ads show up in your email and online.

I'll pass.

There is nothing terrifying about Google's acquisition of Nest. There is only a certainty of what Google will do. Pass...

I have a different perspective. I think the home automation space needs more standardization and needs to become more common in our homes to help become more Eco conscious. The reality is, there are companies that are already harvesting this information, like your power and water usage. I think the privacy issues needs to be clearly identified, but if you want home and energy management solutions to be compatible, I think we need a bigger force in helping direct the way. I personally don't want Samsung to be that company.

Also, if you look at some of the impacts of potential net neutrality changes, it could be that home automation through Comcast or Verizon services might be free of increased network usage fees, but you could see ISPs starting to charge premiums to enable competing platforms to work. I think there is more of a risk in consumer impact by these changes, at least in the near term.

Disclaimer: I am a very happy Nest owner of both thermostats and smoke/CO.

My only real concern with this is that Google will kill it off. Google has a reputation for killing off services that are not runaway successes (by whatever measure), and Nest is in a niche product market at best.

For those that are not familiar, here are the list of things that Google has killed off:


There is also a significant premium for devices like these. Basic thermostats and smoke/CO detectors cost less than $20, with the high end for smoke/CO around $50 and programmable thermostats for $200+. The thermostats are in line with that premium, but nobody is paying for smoke/CO detectors anywhere near what Nest is asking.

Tony Fadell is quoted in a number of places as saying, "At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them. If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it … " Color me skeptical. Big time skeptical.

I wasn't going to get a Nest. Now with Google buying it, change "not" to "definitely not". I can just see the Nest turning down the temp and then trying to sell me a warmer robe. They can track my every move all day every day for all I care, but I can't take their invasive ads anymore. I try to close an ad on a blog post I was previewing and one of their ads popped up. The ad blocked what I was working on. I tried to close it so it demanded to know why. I checked that it was blocking the content which should have made it go away, but the ad changed instead to a message I could not close informing me that they'll try to improve it. I HATE GOOGLE WITH AN ABSOLUTE PASSION!!!!!

Who cares about Google? I don't. I do care about Google's obstruction of the free world. It is like a bad NSA KGB story, all over again.

If it goes there I just might learn to hate Apple too, serving me ads period, let alone based on my mood. I know how to find things when I want to spend money.

One of my oldest and fondest memories is being a little kid happily throwing rocks at a stick in the middle of a dirt road. I could go back to that if push came to shove. So far, at least, Apple seems to serve up less ads — I once opened websites in both Safari and Chrome side-by-side and there were a lot more ads in the Chrome rendering. So I deleted Chrome. Google's new ads placed on websites that cover content and refuse to go away even after "muting" and telling it that the ad is blocking content does not make it move or go out of the way. I think I'm going to have to stop going to sites that allow such ads. At least the iOS Safari browser has a reading mode that strips out everything but the article you are reading, stripping out all the ads and, unfortunately, comments as well. It is a good tradeoff. At this point I'd consider paying for content instead of being barrraged by ads.

Or I could go back to throwing rocks at sticks, reading paper books, continue writing and performing music, and talking to people through tin cans attached by a string. Not that I can drive to the store without seeing signs everywhere. There's no winning. I'll have to ask my doctor for some Xanax.

It seems like Apple is getting in on what you hate about Google.


Apple patents ad delivery. Hmm. Why would apple do that when you're already paying a premium for their hardware which pays for your software. Seem like you better switch to Black Berry because Apple has plans to turn evil and sell you to advertisers. Maybe there is still time for Apple and Google to make up. Hmm. I give it a year or two till Apple gets in on this.