If you’ve tried to link up Nest products with Apple devices, you might already know that they aren’t directly supported.
However, thanks to the new Matter standard, along with the third-party Starling Home Hub, you have a couple of ways to integrate Nest and Apple HomeKit.
So how well do these solutions work? Let’s find out.
How to Connect Nest to Apple HomeKit and Siri
The Nest Thermostat is made by Google, so if you want to use your Thermostat with any Apple device, you will definitely run into compatibility issues.
However, third-party devices will let you connect your Nest Thermostat with Apple HomeKit, the most popular of which is the Starling Home Hub.
Besides that, there have been some recent developments with Nest thermostats supporting “Matter,” the new smart home standard that’s designed exactly to bridge this gap.
Option 1: Starling Home Hub
The Starling Home Hub is a simple yet effective solution to connect your Nest devices with Apple HomeKit and Siri.
You can set it up within five minutes and get all your Nest products connected to Apple HomeKit, all you need is the home hub, a Wi-Fi router, and an Apple device, such as an iPad or iPhone.
After you get the Starling Home Hub to connect with your Internet router or switch, you move ahead and configure the hub using your iPad, iPhone, or any other Apple device. You can complete the configuration from your browser, no additional steps required.
Apart from convenience and compatibility, security and data privacy are top priorities for Starling Home Hub, which is why it doesn't store user data. Instead, all the information remains on your local network.
The hub only connects to the internet when necessary, such as when firmware updates are available.
Supported Nest Products
Starling Home Hub has support for almost every Nest product on the market. Check below to see a full list of Nest devices that you can control using your Apple phone.
- Nest Thermostat (Nest Thermostat E & Nest Learning Thermostat)
- Temperature Sensors
- Nest Alarm Systems
- Nest Protect
- Nest Hello
- Nest Protect (CO & Smoke Alarm)
- Nest Cam Indoor/ Outdoor/IQ
- Nest Secure (Guard & Detect)
- Nest Dropcam
- Nest × Yale Lock
How to Install and Integrate the Starling Home Hub with Apple HomeKit
Connecting Nest to Apple HomeKit and Siri is a breeze using the Starling Home Hub. It integrates with your Wi-Fi router to act as a smart home hub and bridge the gap between your Nest and Apple HomeKit devices.
Starling supports almost all routers (except for Arris RAC2V1A), including HomeKit Secure Routers, such as the Eero. The Starling Hub does not support PoE (Power Over Ethernet). Instead, you will have to power it via the Micro-USB interface provided or with a PoE micro-USB power splitter.
To get started:
- Plug the Starling Home Hub into your Wi-Fi router using the included LAN Cable
- After that, connect the Starling Home Hub to the power using the included USB cable and a phone charger
- Check for any indicator lights on the LAN port of the Starling hub, if anything doesn’t light up, reconnect the cables and try again
- Then, open up a web browser on your laptop or smartphone and make sure you’re connected to the same network as your Wi-Fi router
- After that, head into the Starling network, typically it’s “setup.starling.io.” (Don’t forget to check your quick start guide for the correct address.)
- If your iPhone is on a VPN or LTE, the connection will not be complete so make sure to switch these off.
- The website will try to scan your local network for the smart home hub. After which, it will open up a menu to help you create a Google or Nest account
- Follow the given instructions to provide your credentials and authorize Starling to control the home hub
- Finally, you’ll have the option to customize the available Nest devices and configure any settings.
- When that’s all done, you need to add the Starling home hub to your Apple devices.
- Open up the Apple HomeKit app and tap on the plus icon “+” at the top right
- Then scan the QR code to connect the hub to your Apple device
- Provide any confirmation prompts and set up the location and name for your Starling Home Hub/Bridge
- Set up the nest devices connected to your Starling home hub. You will have to assign rooms, rename them, and provide permissions for the functions that are available
- Your smart devices will now show up in the Apple HomeKit app
If you run into any issues or the smart device doesn’t operate as expected, simply force close the app, head back into the Starling portal, and restart the Apple HomeKit app..
The Starling Home Hub uses two-factor authentication to protect your data.
The team behind Starling Home Hub regularly rolls out new software upgrades, bug fixes, and patches. You can check for new updates by simply visiting their website.
If convenience is your priority, you should always install these updates as soon as they’re made available, since they make the Starling more reliable.
Option 2: Nest, HomeKit, and Matter
Matter is an innovative smart home standard created through the collaboration of tech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung.
As of April 18th, Nest Thermostat now supports Matter, making it the first smart thermostat to do so.
This upgrade allows Nest users to easily connect their device to Apple HomeKit without needing extra hardware, as long as they're running iOS 16.4.
Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and other Matter-compatible platforms are also supported in this update.
However, this new functionality is limited to the 2020 version of the Nest Thermostat, with Google promising to bring functionality to the Nest E and Learning models in the future.
Adding The Nest Thermostat to Apple HomeKit via Matter
Once your Nest thermostat gets updated with Matter compatibility, you'll be able to locate a new Matter settings page on the device itself and within the Google Home app settings for the thermostat.
This is where you can find the Matter pairing code required to link your Nest thermostat with Apple HomeKit.
Although the Google Home app on iOS doesn't currently support Matter, you can still integrate your thermostat with Apple HomeKit using the code provided by your Nest device.
This enables you to manage the thermostat through HomeKit until Google Home decides to include Matter support for a seamless connection.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t natively support Nest thermostats. Instead, the only options are to link the devices via the Starling Home Hub or integrate them via Matter.
The former is still considered the best option since it’s compatible with many Nest thermostats and you don’t have to worry about glitches or software issues.
So if you really want to control your Nest thermostat via Apple devices, the Starling Home hub can make it happen.