Home automation has been a long-time fantasy of geeks and while the fascination has somewhat given way to other trends, some, like Nest, have kept the torch alive. Now the company is rolling out an update to its Android and iOS apps that makes it easier for users to manage their Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke alarm whether at home or far away.
The biggest and probably the most long-awaited improvement to the Nest Android app is support for different screen orientations. It is always annoying to use an app on a tablet that is stuck in portrait mode. It is even more jarring when an app supports both landscape and portrait modes, but not consistently. Such was the case with the Nest app, which previously forced users to switch to a landscape orientation to get to some settings, even on a phone. Thus the apps has been completely redesigned to be useful in whatever orientation, situation, or device you may be using.
A lot of the other improvements in this new version is related to the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm These include automatically calling emergency services should an incident occur or providing first aid and emergency instructions in case of an event. The app now provides the results of previous Nest Protect tests, both those done manually and self-tests made by the system, to ensure that the user is up to date on the monitor's hardware status.
The Nest app is available for free on Google Play Store, but, of course, you need to own one of the home monitors to have any use for the app. Updates will roll out automatically like any other Android app update and user action is not needed.