Nest has long held back on supporting Apple HomeKit because of the competitor relationship between its parent company Google and Apple. However, things might start to change not too long from now.
Nest told 9to5Mac that it is considering supporting HomeKit. Analysts attribute the change to HomeKit’s update with the new iOS 11.
Apple announced at the recent WWDC 2017 that manufacturers will no longer need to embed authentication chips in their devices to have HomeKit support. Instead, manufacturers can have their devices working with the platform through a software authentication process.
The announcement marks a significant change to the platform because the integration with HomeKit will be easier and is likely to welcome more devices to support it.
Hardware authentication has been a barrier preventing many companies from supporting HomeKit. Companies that have already launched a series of smart home products will have to invest a great deal to upgrade existing products with new chips in order to become HomeKit-enabled.
For instance, Belkin’s smart home brand Wemo has long taken a ‘no’ stand from HomeKit support in order to keep the use experience consistent with existing products. Just last month, the company finally announced a new bridge product to enable HomeKit support for existing products.
HomeKit already supports all product types of Nest, including security camera, thermostat and smoke and fire sensors. It is not certain whether Google will allow Nest to support Apple’s platform.
The two companies compete in many sectors, from mobile device to AI assistant and car automation. As Apple recently introduced HomePod, they are now competing on smart speaker as well.
Nest currently supports various smart home platforms, including Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Wink, Xfinity Home and Samsung SmartThing.
According to MacRumors, Nest said there’s no immediate plan to roll out HomeKit support.