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Nest now tracks your phone to make sure you’re home

If you’re scared of inanimate objects getting even smarter, you’ll want to look away now.

Nest has just launched an app update that makes the whole system significantly more intelligent.

The update brings a new feature called Home/Away assist, which lets Nest get a much better idea of when you’re home.

It does this by building a GPS geofence around your house and tracking your phone’s location to work out whether or not you’re in the house – on an opt-in basis, thankfully.

Nest already uses its devices – like the Nest Cam – to help gauge who’s in the house, but this new change makes the system much more efficient.

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“From today, not only will we rely on the sensors of our products, but we will use your phone’s location to help understand if you are home or away,” Lionel Guicherd-Callin, Product Marketing for Nest Europe, tells TrustedReviews.

The system works in conjuction with another new feature called ‘Family Accounts’, which lets you add other members of your family to the household without having to share your login details.

Related: Best Smart Thermostats 2016

This means that in addition to being able to view Nest data and control devices – like changing the temperature – family members will be tracked in and out of the home.

“We’re different from a lot of people, because we don’t only use geolocation. We use geofencing in conjuction with your Nest devices,” he continues. “So you’re not running into a case where you’re leaving the home, and the home starts to shut down heating and lighting, and you still have family members inside.”

nestAdding family counts is ‘extremely easy’

Guicherd-Callin assures us that only “there’s no way to spend money unless you’re the homeowner” in the updated version of the app, so you won’t have a child accidentally making purchases.

In fact, only the homeowner will be able to:

  • Subscribe to Nest Aware
  • Make Nest Cam video feed public
  • Change the emergency contact
  • Change the address of the home
  • Delete a home

Nest users will be able to add up to 10 family members to the household, and there’s no charge for inviting people.

The update – available for both Android and iOS – should be live now.

It’s worth noting that Android users will also get the added perk of Android Wear functionality starting today. This means you’ll be able to control devices like the Nest Thermostat from your Android Wear smartwatch.


Do you use a smart home system? Let us know in the comments.

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