One of the more polarizing stories of last week (though not necessarily for any sort of educated reason) was Google's $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs. That's not to say we shouldn't have a discussions about the implications of such an acquisition, but there certainly were the usual knee-jerk reactions. (Perhaps on more than one front, to be fair.) Whatever. A purchase of this size wasn't done in week. We're not going to have it all figured out in that same time span. 

But we do have to start somewhere. So we (well, me, actually) finally bought a Nest this week and started giving it the what-for. And we gave it a decent amount of time on the podcast this week. 

Have a listen to the excerpt below (after the break for you front-page browsers). One way or another, this is going to be an interesting, long-term topic. And have a listen to the full podcast here.


Reader comments

Eight minutes on Google buying Nest Labs


Overpriced is relative. I paid three times more for Carrier's WiFi Infinity Touch Thermostat and love it.

I'll agree. But Google buying it might have a positive effect on price.

Posted via my thumbs and Google Keyboard.

I seriously don't understand why people are hating so much on the purchase. The folks at imore don't like the purchase at all. It was bound to happen. Nest made excellent products, people want their product, Google saw that and see future potential with the purchase. It's a win win for both companies. Fadell made a smart move selling the company, and he is filthy rich now. Google isn't changing anything quite yet, so Nest is still Nest. I personally like the purchase because Google is moving into the home automation business!

Nexus 5...enough said

I think the reason Apple fans at iMore don't like it, is because with this purchase, Google gained a lot of ex-Apple employees.

Posted from my Nexus 5

Yeah, and they seem to be completely anti-google even though they use just as many Google products as me.

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Posted via my thumbs and Google Keyboard.

They don't make excellent products, they make good products. Check the Amazon reviews. What's surprising is that this company only has 2 products, neither of which are very impressive. A thermostat that does some learning is not difficult to implement, and I'm sure google easily could have done this on their own for significantly less money. If they had more products, my response may be different, but this is just another snapchat.

A 3.2 billion dollar purchase, and you say a good product? Its an excellent product. Google rather have someone else make the hardware. Look at the nexus line. Why make the hardware (which don't get me wrong its a good idea)? If Google decided to make their own "Nest" device, now they are in competition with Nest. They buy the company, and they are lowering the competition in this market. Its a smart move all around.

Nexus 5...enough said

yet no one dare to build one in 20 years thats what make it excellent product... it might be simple to program but if Nest have not done this then no one would have done it for another 10-20 years

This is the way Google envision its future. Getting a hold in not only our mobile communication but also our way of life. Now they have a way to get into our whole house temperature control, kitchen, security, safety and everything in our house. I would say this is the beginning of our home invasion and I like the idea.

The nest thermostat purchase was large, but its saving me 20 to 30 bucks a month on electricity in the summer and my natural gas is on a budget plan that has lowered 10 bucks a month since I'm using less gas. I will give you that I came from a 10 year old honeywell digital thermostat and it may not have been that efficient. Either way though, my first years savings offset the cost of the nest.

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Spot on comment. While the price seems expensive, you do pay for what you get and what you get is in my opinion is the best looking and best Wifi thermostat on the market. I've had it 2 months and I already see a difference in my gas bill. If it does the same thing with my electric bill in the summer then I will have gained my initial investment back and more.

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Great comment. Out of everyone who I see that has purchased the nest they all say they save money every month now. The most complaints I see are from people who have never used it. I myself can't stand people who complain about something without trying it out. If it's too expensive then don't buy. If you have a thermostat that is already saving you money and find this nest too expensive then stick to what you have. But don't go around saying it's a bad thermostat without trying it out. From most comparison reviews I've liked at comparing the nest to other programmable thermostats the nest is usually just as good or better and easier to install and for most people the nest was even easier since it learns on its own. So for those who are techy and like to tweak their own settings just get a honeywell WiFi thermostat that you can tweak yourself.
I've had programmable thermostats before and I hated having to set it for every day of the week and then it reset and having to do it again. For me, I can't wait to try the Nest.

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I say if you don't want it don't buy it. I haven't considered the home automation yet. I don't even use Google Now, bluetooth, NFC, etc lol. But, I do like having the options available to me in case I want to use it. I went to see the movie HER last night (very good movie btw) and it was interesting seeing some of the futuristic technology and how we are approaching that type of technology. The way his house was programmed made me think of Google and Nest

The good thing I see from this nest thermostat is that it is automated without paying for a bunch of other stuff and also not having to pay for an automated monthly fee like some automated systems. And if you buy the smoke detector it will work with the program also without extra fees.

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I work a rotating shift with different days off every week, and a different shift every 3 months. 5 on, 3 off one month, 4 on, 4 off the next. I'd like to see the Nest figure that one out. I use a Honeywell 7 day programmable and it takes me about 5 minutes a week to set it up.

My days off rotate, too... 5 on, 3 off, 4 on, 4 off, rotating days for 3 months, swings for 3, then graves for 3.

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It probably would have some keeping up to your changing schedule. The nest usually needs at least 3 data points before it learns a preference (ie you set the temp about the same time for 3 days in a row). How ever you can still program a schedule, and it is far easier to program then a normal digital thermostat
It's setup like a timeline with the bottom scale being the day of the week and the hour of the day. The vertical scale is temp, you just place at the time and temp and go from there. The up side is that there is no limit on how many settings per day like a traditional thermostat (ie wake, leave, home, and sleep like my low end Honeywell). And you can program the nest on your phone and computer which is handy.

I have wanted a nest thermostat for awhile now. Sinse the acquisition, should I hold off to see if an updated version is released or will the nest 2 be updated with the Google integration?

What I don't understand is people complaining that the price is too high. If it's too high then don't buy it. That is usually the best way to show the manufacturer. I myself find it expensive too but other WiFi thermostats cost the same. From reviews of actual friends that have had several smart thermostats they said the nest was the best. I will buy the nest over other thermostats because of the ease of use and most reviews are good on it.
In the end, if you don't like it then don't buy it. But at the same time don't say you don't like something unless you actually have tried it.

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What I don't understand is people that complain about people complaining about something...They have a right to complain about the cost of something just like you have a right to complain about them complaining about the product. For me, it is NO better than a 7 day programmable thermostat with Wifi capability. Mine cost half of what the nest cost and takes 3 minutes to program and can be overridden with my smartphone from the mall.

I see google purchasing smart locks very soon... Nest is a fantastic product and google is a brilliant company.

sent from gs3...i need a new phone

4 months using my Nest during the Arizona summer and I recouped my purchase price through my monthly savings. Everything going forward is money in my pocket. One of the biggest ways the Nest saves you money is by monitoring when you've left the house and it sets your temperature to your away setting. I like being able set my a/c high when out of town and the day I'm headed back home cool the house back down, all from my phone. Nest is a great product, looks cool, and I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Those are the things I like to see in reviews. Actual uses and how it's helped you. Looking forward to getting my Nest. Hopefully Amazon will lower their price so I can have best buy price match it and I van use my gift card and reward points.

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Phi, I'm glad U finally got one. I've had mine for a little over a year,got if from Verizon for 220. I have no problems with pirvace. When you are using Android you are already giving up some privacy. I think Google will treat this just as they did with moto.

My take on the thermostat.
It fails to operate properly if you are not regular in your habits, if you were regular then you just set up the timer to your hours. It does not work without wifi, if you change your wifi or password or you lose wifi it does not work.
A proper system requires room by room control. In the UK we have hot water heating so all you do it fit a rad thermostat, infact you have to fit a rad stats on new installations. Then its a simple timer for the rest.

Smoke detector
The nest one is very expensive, so unless you are stupid rich you will limit your self to 1 or 2. You need one in just about every room. Far better you buy a mains powered / battery backed alarm. in most rooms. Its a mandatory standard in the UK in new buildings. Cost is around the same as 1 nest.
So it talks to you big deal. I want to be woken/warned if the alarm goes off I do not give a hoot if its a claxon doing it. So it will text me if it goes off. Better it tells fire brigade.

What I see especially from Phil is being taken in by bling, then doing all you can to justify to yourself it was worth it. It has Apple spin and BS written all over it. I see it as a waste of money but then Google works to a long game and I think they want to be able to milk the apple types just like apple does. My self I like new tech kit but I need value for money more. Buying Nexus etc means I get both and have money left over to by more.