Good news for Nest owners: the 4.3 software update (rolling out this week) is adding more information to the display, improving the auto-scheduling feature, and adding a system test mode.
The Nest’s interface got a big revamp in response to customer requests (and probably market competition – the Ecobee3 and the Honeywell Lyric both featured more on-screen info than Nest used to).
Push the Nest’s outer ring to see a circular menu of icons. Each icon corresponds to info that used to be either buried in Settings or absent altogether. Twist the ring to select an icon and view the associated information.
- Indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity and thermostat location
- System mode – heating, cooling, heat-cool, off
- Schedule – see what’s next in your temperature schedule, see/edit changes to weekly schedule
- Settings – access safety temperatures, Nest sense, more
- Home/Away status – press the ring to quickly switch between these two modes
Auto-Schedule is what makes Nest “learn” and adapt to your preferences. Nest’s engineers have tweaked Auto-Schedule before, but this update was big enough to merit its own name: “Enhanced Auto-Schedule”. Nest’s engineers put a lot of work and testing into this improvement, which takes into account a wider variety of user interactions and promises the following:
- An additional 6% cooling and 5.6% heating savings on top of the savings already provided by the old Auto-Schedule
- Continued and improved “learning” after the initial few weeks setup period
- Users with Enhanced Auto-Schedule make 8% fewer temperature adjustments
- Users with Enhanced Auto-Schedule edit their schedule 31% less often
Basically, they’ve made Nest more hands-off and better at taking into account your changing preferences over a longer period of time. For more details about Enhanced Auto-Schedule and a bit of reading on how Nest came to these numbers, check out the Nest Auto Schedule Whitepaper.pdf
System Test is an interesting feature that we haven’t seen on many competitors. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it runs a test of your heating and cooling systems so you can check for problems. You can use this feature as often as you like, and Nest recommends running it at the start of the heating and/or cooling season.
Nest also added time and weather support for more countries worldwide. If you didn’t have time/weather support before, you might get it in this update.
How do I get the 4.3 Update?
If you already have a Nest, you should be getting the update sometime this week.
Check if you already have it: push your Nest’s ring and if you see the Quick View menu with the weather, outdoor temp, and humidity, you’re set. If you havenâ€™t gotten the update by Friday 11/7/2014, Nest suggests you read this.
We love it when a smart thermostat gets an update. It keeps us confident that manufacturers will continue to support these products, even for users who have already paid for and installed the device, and it keeps the competition between brands healthy. We love that Nest heard customer complaints and requests and responded by adding those features. Assuming there aren’t any big glitches in this update, this is update is great news. Enjoy!