Nest Labs Announces 20% Slimmer, More Compatible Nest Learning Thermostat; Ships This Month

Today Nest Labs is taking the wraps off its second-generation Nest learning thermostat that the company says is 20 percent slimmer than the previous model and is now compatible with 95 percent of low-voltage US residential heating and cooling systems, a bump up from 75 percent. Nest is also updating its mobile software for both iOS and Android to version 3.0 with a plethora of upgrades.

The $249 thermostat features an all-new, all-stainless steel ring and a sensor window that replaces the grill. Under the hood, the addition of a Y2 and star (*) connector now allow Nest users to control second stage cooling systems, among other things. In total, the second gen hardware now supports three-stage heating, emergency heat for heat pumps and whole-home humidifiers/dehumidifiers.

More importantly, version 3.0 of the Nest software includes or has enhanced the following features:

System Match: based on your system, Nest will adjust your system accordingly to maintain an optimal temperature in an efficient manner. For instance, the “early-on” feature will begin to heat or cool to ensure the desired temperature is met by the scheduled time based on a number of variables, like local weather. There’s also enhanced support for radiant and heat pump systems thanks to “True Radiant” and “Heat Pump Balance.”

Auto-Away/Auto-Schedule: Both of these have also been improved with auto-away seeing a significant upgrade. The feature now continuously tracks whether or not you’ll be home based on previous 30-day activity. It can now kick in 30 minutes after you’ve left instead of two hours later.

Both Nest apps and the system itself now support English, French and Spanish.

You can still control, monitor and tweak your Nest from a web browser, iOS device or Android smartphone. And for the first time, Android tablet (Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire) owners can get in on the fun.

The second-gen Nest is available for pre-order starting today and will ship by mid-October. You can also find the new Nest at Amazon, Lowe’s, Apple stores. The first-generation Nest will drop to $229 and will be available at Lowe’s while supplies last.