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Google's Nest is officially in competition with Apple HomeKit

Not that this is any sort of surprise, but Google has finally announced a developer program for the Nest division. The timing couldn't be much better since I just finished writing about why I'm looking forward to the primary mobile players, Apple and Google, integrating "Internet of Things" hooks into their respective operating systems.

"Works with Nest" is a set of APIs that manufacturers of light bulbs, cars, laundry machines, or whatever else you can think of, will be able to integrate with products built by Google. But watch the 4 minute YouTube video on the Nest developers homepage and you'll notice Google's branding is absent. That's probably a smart thing. Perhaps the general public has privacy concerns, and by keeping the Nest brand separate from the Google brand, this can be avoided to some degree. Let's face it … those of us reading Connectedly, iMore, Android Central and other tech websites are in the minority. Most buyers don't know Google owns Nest.

Right now everything seems to centre around the Nest thermostat. But I have a feeling this will change. There are going to be people who want to take advantage of products that "work with Nest" yet they do not own a Nest.

It seems to me like the Nest thermostat acts like some sort of gateway for the home. I see no reason why this gateway can't just exist within any Android device, or as a firmware update to a router, or even as a cloud service that connects devices through cellular and Wi-Fi. Long term there may not be any requirement for a stand-alone thermostat in the home.

On a separate note, but still related to this topic, I can't help but feel Amazon is going to have a hard time competing here. They're on the cusp of launching a phone running a forked version of Android with no Google services. They're building some of their own replacement services such as voice recognition and maps powered by Nokia HERE. But the next 5-10 years is all about connecting other devices to the mobile ecosystem, and I'm not sure how Amazon will compete. And if they don't compete then I have to wonder if they will be at just as big of a disadvantage as BlackBerry was in the app store game.

What do you think, folks? Are Google and Apple just pushing too far ahead for anyone else to catch up?

Former sell side analyst, out-of-box thinker, consultant, entrepreneur. Interests: Wife & kids, tech, NLP, fitness, travel, investing, 4HWW.

  • Since the REST API is available to all (like the Twitter API), all Amazon has to do is write a plug-in for it. Competition solved .
  • Even though it was called "Nest" to mean home, it can also now mean "nested within".
  • I use Perceptive Automation's Indigo as my HA hub; it currently controls my Nest among many other things, including many of the things listed by Nest. Nest isn't a hub, they've announced an API and are trying to shoe-horn people into believing that means it is a hub. HA doesn't just mean turn on the AC when my Benz pulls into the neighborhood. Turning off the lights when I leave a room, watering the lawn when there's no rain for 3 days, starting the coffee pot when I get out of bed, grabbing a security cam video of the front door when motion is detected -- those are HA. I'm interested in what HomeKit will provide, but am guardedly optimistic that it will be something more than just a way to allow Siri to access my Indigo system.
  • I don't use anything by Google now, so there's no way I would put a device is my home that might send Google data!
  • I can see the future now. My washing machine stops. "hey there, we will get back to washing in a bit, but do we have a deal for you." If Google can put an ad on it, they will. Sent from the iMore App
  • Nest won't have ads. They are running as a completely separate company than Google.
  • These products are at such an early and immature stage that they are hardly worth one's while. Until we see what Microsoft will do, the market remains unsettled. MS always comes a bit later in the game, on everything, but when they do, they do so with a better product -- e.g. compare Windows Phone, Cortana, Nokia's locations services, Microsoft cloud infrastructure and peetinent services, Surface Pro, ... etc. All these are best-in-class products. Microsoft's connected home should be interesting, against this background.
  • At-least you left out Zune. I tried the Zune HD at its EOL and with better support(including ZuneOS programming) all-around, it could've been a contender.