Does Nest Work With Siri? How to Control Nest With HomeKit?

Does Nest Work With Siri

Does Nest work with Siri? The cheeky response would be “No. But yes”. Permit me to expand on this better. The Nest Thermostat is one of the most popular smart home devices of all time, yet due to incompatibility with HomeKit, iOS users can’t regulate their Nest Learning Thermostats using Siri directly.

Does Nest integrate with Apple and all iPhones, too? Sure. The Nest Thermostat or any other of Nest’s smart home devices such as the Nest Cameras, Nest Doorbell, and Nest Smart Locks all work great with Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iWatch.

However, this does not include voice control through Siri, as HomeKit (the integration system on Apple devices) does not support Nest. However, thanks to Homebridge we can now bypass this wall and create compatibility between the HomeKit and your Nest Thermostat. Read on to understand how you can apply this hack to your devices as well. 

What Is HomeKit? And Does Nest Work With Siri?

Apple’s smart home inclusion system that offers direct integration with Apple’s iOS HomeKit enables you to control smart home devices from one app- the “HomeKit” on your iPhone or use Siri voice commands to control your smart home using Siri voice commands in your home. 

In order for Nest to work with Homekit, Apple and Google would have to collaborate which is highly unlikely. 

How do I use Apple and iPhones to work with Nest? 

One easy means of using the Nest app on your iPhone is to install the Nest Thermostat on your iPhone and download the Nest App on your iPhone. Once you have the Nest thermostat installed and connected to your Wi-Fi internet connection, you can add it to your iPhone’s Nest App and stay in touch and you can start controlling your Nest Thermostat remotely on your phone. 

You can even control your Nest Thermostat from your Apple Watch. Yes, with just the slide of a screen you can control your Nest Thermostat right from your wrist.

It’s incredibly easy and simple to install in just a few minutes with a screwdriver and a little elbow grease. 

However, using this method does not permit voice control via Siri. 

Thankfully, we have found a solution to this. It is called Homebridge, and it is a NodeJS server that can run on your Mac. Homebridge allows iOS devices to use the HomeKit to interface with incompatible home automation devices such as the Nest.

This means that the Nest can now be managed using Siri with the Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad. You’ll need no jailbreak to do this. 

Full DIY video

What is the Homebridge About?

Homebridge is a compact NodeJS server that you can set up on your local network, imitating the iOS HomeKit API. It supports plugins, which are community-driven modules that provide a simple bridge from HomeKit to several other third-party APIs supplied by “smart home” device makers. 

As Siri supports devices added via HomeKit, this signifies you can ask Siri to control devices that don’t have any HomeKit support at all with Homebridge. For example, you can, using just a few of the obtainable plugins, say: 

  • Siri, unlock the front door. Pictured at right] 
  • Siri, good evening.
  • Siri, open the door to the garage. 
  • Siri, switch the coffee maker on. 
  • Siri, turn on the lights in the kitchen. 

Find out about all the available plugins at the NPM website by doing a search on the keyword home-bridge plugin.

Getting Started With Homebridge

To get started with Homebridge you’ll need the following:

  • A Nest

A Mac (always-on preferable)

  • A HomeKit capable iOS device
  • An Apple Watch (optional)

I wrote this article with Nest users in mind, but the same principles work with any home automated hardware. You’ll find tons of available Homebridge plugins for all of your choice automated hardware like Philips Hue lights, WeMo, Harmony Hub, and others. The sky is really the limit here. The tips from this article will apply to non-Macs as well. You’ll now be able to get Homebridge running on your Windows, or Linux box.

Homebridge Installation Details

Homebridge is released through NPM and should be installed “universally” by typing:

sudo npm install -g –unsafe-perm homebridge

You may need to use the –unsafe-perm flag if you observe an error that looks like this:

gyp WARN EACCES user “root” does not have permission to access the dev dir “/root/.node-gyp/5.5.0”

Now you should be able to run Homebridge:

$ homebridge

No plugins found. See the README for information on installing plugins.

Homebridge will complain if you don’t have any Plugins installed, since it will essentially be useless, although you can still “pair” with it. See the next section on “Installing Plugins” for more info.

Once you’ve installed a Plugin or two, you can run Homebridge again:

$ homebridge

Couldn’t find a config.json file [snip]

Homebridge will not do anything, however, until you have built a config.json file that includes the accessories and/or platforms. You can begin by copying and editing the included config-sample.json file which includes statements for some accessories and platforms for example. Every plugin will have its own planned configuration; some real-world examples for that plugin will be specified in the plugin documentation. 

NOTE: The config.json file MUST be within your home folders .homebridge subfolder. On macOS and Linux the complete path for your config.json would be ~/.homebridge/config.json. Any error messages will include the exact path you would expect to find your config.

REALLY IMPORTANT: To build or change config.json, you must use an editor that operates on “plain text.” Do NOT use apps on Mac, such as TextEdit, or Wordpad on Windows. Apps such as these will corrupt file formatting in a hard-to-debug way. Making ill-suited “signs” being an example. I recommend using the free Atom text editor instead. 

Once you have added your config file, you should be able to run Homebridge again:

$ homebridge

Loaded plugin: homebridge-nest homebridge

Registering accessory ‘nest homebridge’

Loaded config.json with 1 accessories and 0 platforms.

Loading 0 platforms…

Loading 1 accessories…

[Back Door] Initializing Nest Homebridge accessory…

Homebridge is now ready to receive commands from iOS.

Installing Plugins on Homebridge

Plugins are NodeJS modules which are issued via NPM and marked with the homebridge-plugin keyword. They must have a name with the prefix homebridge, like homebridge-mysmartlock

Plugins can publish Platforms and/or Accessories. Specific items such as a smart switch or a garage door are accessories. Platforms function as one tool, but they can reveal a collection of items, like a house filled with smart light bulbs. 

The same way you set up Homebridge, is how you install plugins- as a universal NPM module. 

For example: 

sudo npm install -g homebridge-nest homebridge 

By searching for the keyword homebridge-plugin, you can discover all available plugins on the NPM website. 

IMPORTANT: Several of the plugins that Homebridge always included with its default installation were transferred to the single plugin- homebridge-legacy-plugins

Step-by-step Guide to Installing the Nest Plug-in 

Step 1

Download and Install Node.js via the Mature and Dependable package

Step 2

Download config.json, save it to your desktop and edit the file with a text editor of your choosing (avoid “plain text” editors) to contain your Nest username and password as well. 

Step 3

Open up the Terminal and type the following two commands (you will be required to authenticate your admin password):

sudo npm install -g homebridge

sudo npm install -g homebridge-nest

homebridge

You will get an error on the last command, which is fine. 

Step 4

Open Finder → Go → Go to Folder…  paste the following and click Go:

~/.homebridge

Step 5

Drag the config.json file from your desktop into the .homebridge folder. 

Step 6

Open Terminal and enter the following command again:

homebridge

Step 7

Download Devices from the App Store. It’s a free app that enables you to manage HomeKit devices.

Step 8

Launch Devices, allow access to your Home Data, and tap Edit → Create New Room → tap Homebridge under the Add New Devices heading, and click on Add Anyway. If you already have a room all set up, you can select that room instead, and add Homebridge to that room.

Step 9

You will then be required to type in your 8-digit accessory setup code. Click on “Enter code manually”, and type 987-65-432. You can, if you so wish, alter this code in the Config.js file from step 1. Once you’ve typed the code in successfully, you should get to see the Nest Thermostat. Tap the Save button to save the configuration.

You can now use the Devices app to control your Nest. Even more significant, however, is the new ability to regulate the Nest with Siri! This implies that you can now control your Nest with your voice through your iPhone, iPad, or even your Apple Watch.

Adding Homebridge to iOS

The fact is that the HomeKit itself is actually not an app; it’s a “database” comparable to HealthKit and PassKit. While HealthKit has the companion Health app and PassKit has Passbook, HomeKit has the Home app, launched with iOS 10.

If you are a member of the iOS developer program, you might also consider Apple’s HomeKit Catalog app to be useful, as it offers simple and easy-to-understand control of all HomeKit database “objects”.

You should be able to add the single accessory “Homebridge” using the Home app (or most other HomeKit apps), assuming you are still operating on the Homebridge and are on the same Wifi network. Adding this accessory ensures that all accessories and platforms defined in config.json will be added automatically. 

When you try to add Homebridge it will request a “PIN code.” The default code is 031-45-154 (but this can be altered, see sample for config.json).

Interacting with Your Other Devices

Once you have linked your device to HomeKit, you should be able to tell Siri to manage your gadgets. Realize, however, that Siri is a cloud service, and it may take some time for iOS to sync your app details with iCloud.

One last thing to keep in mind is that Siri will almost always prefer its default processing of phrases over HomeKit apps. For example, if you call your Sonos device “Radio” and try to say “Siri, turn on the Radio” then Siri is inclined to start running an iTunes radio station on your phone. Even if you’re going to call it “Sonos” and try saying “Siri, turn on the Sonos,” Siri might only launch the Sonos app instead. For this reason, the name suggested for the Sonos accessory, for example, is “Speakers.” 

How Does Nest Work On Your iPhone? 

Nest iPhone app.

With the Nest App and you can set up heating or cooling of your HVAC system, turn it off or even set it under “Eco” mode which allows you to save energy and money. You can adjust the temperature from your iPhone, set a routine for your Thermostat, or set the ideal temperature for when you get home from a long day’s work and just need to chill. 

The Nest Thermostat is lightweight but stylish and works on an iPhone as you’d imagine. 

Quick Fact: 

Nest’s founder (Tony Fadell) spent years working at Apple and was one of their leading product designers on the iPod and iPhone

Nest iPhone App

You can also view your HVAC and energy usage history with the Nest Thermostat on your iPhone to see just how much energy you’re saving with your Nest Thermostat! 

Some studies indicate that in home use, the Nest Thermostat can save up to 10-15 percent each year in the use of HVAC energy. If you position the Nest Thermostat in “Eco” mode the Nest will start saving you energy even when you’re away. 

You could also use the cool features of the Nest and Nest app that can quickly identify when you’re away from home and save energy automatically, or even create an automatic routine that maximizes energy and comfort by assessing when you’re coming home from work and your daily routine of activities while at home. 

Nest Thermostat Screenshots

The Nest app functions on iPhones, Apple watches and iPads. If you want to connect to your Nest Thermostat via a computer you can also effortlessly use your username and password through the Nest Portal. 

Another nice feature of the Nest Thermostat is that it can be matched up with the Nest Room Sensors, which are battery-powered sensors that can disclose room temperature all through your home and can be used with the Nest Thermostat to maintain temperature in a particular room.

If you just want a Thermostat that interacts with HomeKit, here we have a complete list of smart home thermostats that interact directly with HomeKit. The best smart thermostat option we’ve identified for HomeKit is the Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat with native HomeKit integration that not only allows you to control the thermostat via Siri voice commands but also as an Alexa smart speaker built into the thermostat that allows you to regulate your smart thermostat with your voice, even when you’re not close to your smartphone.

Best HomeKit Compatible Smart Thermostats

  • Ecobee 4 Smart Thermostat
  • Ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat
  • Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat

Summary: Does Nest Work With HomeKit?

So you’ve learned that there are several ways of using Nest as an Apple user. One of these ways is to install the Nest Thermostat on your iPhone and download the Nest App on your iPhone. Once you have the Nest thermostat installed and connected to your Wi-Fi internet connection, you can add it to your iPhone’s Nest App and stay in touch and you can start controlling your Nest Thermostat remotely on your phone. This method, however, does not permit voice control of the thermostat via Siri. 

There is, however, a second (and smarter) option for you if you would prefer voice control over your Nest- the Homebridge. This program installs previously incompatible devices such as the Nest thermostat onto HomeKit thereby creating an interface between your iOS-based device and the device. Since the app can now be installed on the HomeKit program, you’ll now be able to control your device via Siri. 

We hope you enjoyed this post. Go on to look through the plethora of helpful articles we have compiled for you on the topic of smart homes. 

Nest and HomeKit FAQs:

What Smart Thermostats Work With HomeKit?

The Ecobee range of smart thermostats works with HomeKit. We highly recommend the Ecobee 4 smart thermostat. However, if you want a more value-minded option the Ecobee 3 offers you premium savings.

We have an entire post on the best smart thermostats that work with HomeKit here.

When Will Nest Be Compatible with HomeKit?

This question has been ongoing for a while now and there is still no defined timeframe. The Nest Thermostat may never be compatible with HomeKit. This is because Apple and Google would have to agree on a deal to work on its compatibility together.

Do Any Nest Products Work With HomeKit?

None currently (January 2020), no Nest Products are directly compatible with HomeKit.

Do I Need HomeKit Control To Use Nest on an iPhone?

No, the Nest Thermostat will work fine on your iPhone without HomeKit compatibility. The only feature you would be missing without the Homebridge is voice control through Siri.

Victor Patrick

A Biochemistry graduate that fell in love with tech. Passionate about smart devices and smart homes. Hobbies include DIY technical projects, hiking and chess. When not at my desk writing about the latest technology in the smart home industry, I can be found sparring on Lichess or taking piano lessons. You can always follow me on Twitter @aka_Vic_Thor for the latest developments on smart homes and the tech world in general. I follow back!

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