Nest recently released a new update to the software of the thermostat device (as well as their corresponding web and mobile applications).
Some of the details may be found on their blog.
A few of the new features include an historical view of the heating/cooling usage:
On Friday, April 6th for example, you can see when the heat turned on and what the set points were for the day for my First Floor thermostat. The data isn’t as interesting during our Midwest Spring as the furnace doesn’t run nearly as much.
Here’s from another day:
I doubt I’ll use this feature much. It only has 10 days of information available apparently right now, so I just can’t see this being very useful. I’m skeptical that this will affect my choices as it comes to how we use our HVAC system. I could see potentially how aggregate data of many users (in a similar geographical area) could become more compelling and potentially a source of data that Nest might be able to sell.
The settings for a thermostat have been tweaked visually. The same basic data is available as before:
The learning tab has been cleaned up as well:
For some reason, our thermostat that we’ve had for four months is apparently still in training (Time to Temp). That seems like an issue that maybe I’ll look into. Although I don’t really care much about the “time to temp” feature normally as I don’t manually adjust the affected thermostat much.
The “Away” tab changed:
Not a big improvement for usability. Probably more touch friendly (and it’s logically correct as it heats when less than 58 degrees for example), but it feels wrong. Thermostats aren’t normally left to right oriented (temp goes up and down), so this breaks a typical UX model.
On the Equipment tab, they’ve tweaked the UI as well:
I clicked on the Safety Temp word (? it’s not a button, nor a link, so I don’t know what to call it) and the above UI displayed. The same temperature range UX is displayed, but here I like it even less. I suppose we don’t have a maximum temperature in the house during cooling season, but this is clunky. (And given that it’s safety related, I wish it were more clear). I can hear some of you say, “but it’s clear to me.” I do understand it, but I’m confident there is a better way of displaying and adjusting these temperatures that would be more obvious.
(And Nest Labs, go ahead and spell out “TEMP” please? Thanks!)
The technical info tab is the same basically.
There’s now a lock feature (which I have no need for, and am not going to experiment with right now):
One of the big new TM’ed features is called Airwave™. Apparently, when it’s hot and the humidity is low (not typical for Wisconsin, as our summers are usually hot and humid), the thermostat apparently will try to do more cooling by turning off the air conditioning system early and using the fan more. (I always thought our air conditioner already did that as the compressor turns off before the fans). If it helps lower our electricity bill, awesome. I’ll report back if I can tell that it is working and helping (without historical data though, it will be difficult for us, especially as we added solar panels to our house last fall).
The scheduling tab looks basically unchanged. The support tab has more content, so you don’t have to go to their web site to read the information. That’s a nice improvement.
OK, this was very strange. As I was writing this post (and in the middle of using the application), I saw the following:
Now, the thermostats are all disconnected in some odd way:
A few minutes later, things improved (but not perfect):
Twenty minutes later, the BASEMENT thermostat is still disconnected. I reset the thermostat and it’s back now.