Quite a few of my tech-loving, home-owning buddies have been raving mad about the Nest learning thermostat for awhile now (it proved so popular, they were harder to come by than iPhones!). Just announced, the 2nd generation Nest thermostat looks like it's thinned out in dimensions and bulked up in features, probably being the first thermostat product people will be eagerly awaiting for an upgrade for...The biggest news about this version 2.0 is the 20% thinner size, incorporating an all-stainless steel ring which evokes the detailing of an Apple iPhone or MacBook Pro laptop in finish (no surprise, considering these thermostats are sold at the Apple Store as one of the rare home comfort devices). Nest has also eliminated the second ring element, presenting a more "uni-body" finish on the dial to control the myriad of software 3.0 features added with the update:
System Match - Almost all thermostats are made for conventional forced air systems, but not all systems are conventional. Energy-efficient systems need special control to help them save energy while providing comfort. With System Match, Nest activates custom features depending on what system you have to keep you comfortable and help you save energy.
Early-On - For forced air systems, get the temperature you want when you want it. If your schedule says 72oF at 6:00 AM, Early-On will start heating or cooling early so it'll be 72oF when your alarm rings at 6:00 AM. Nest also calculates the health of your system's air filter - based on system runtime - and reminds you to change it when needed to maintain efficiency.
True Radiant - No more turning on the radiant heat at 4:00 AM so you can be warm by morning. True Radiant delivers predictable comfort with all the energy savings you expect from a radiant system.
Heat Pump Balance - Nest's exclusive Heat Pump Balance feature optimizes how often you need to use expensive auxiliary (AUX) heat. Just choose whether you want more comfort or more savings, and Heat Pump Balance will automatically adjust when AUX heat comes on.
Enhanced Auto-Away and Auto-Schedule - Nest personalizes the Auto-AwayTM start time for each home and can now enter Auto-Away as soon as 30 minutes after you've left the house. This Nest-exclusive feature is active in more than 90 percent of Nest homes. Thanks to Auto-ScheduleTM, 99 percent of Nests have schedules that match their owners' lives. With Nest software v3.0, Auto-Schedule can now learn your schedule in the Heat • Cool mode (formerly known as Range mode).
Broader mobile support - More than 90 percent of connected Nest owners use the remote control feature, so in addition to support on computer web browsers, apps for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones, Nest now supports Android tablets, including Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire.
Full details and pre-order information about the $249 second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat available here.