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Nest is considering Apple HomeKit as iOS 11 makes supporting existing products easier

Nest has long been a holdout on Apple’s Siri-controlled HomeKit platform, and many have speculated it will never add support due to its ties with Google and its competing offerings. But this week the company told us it’s at least considering adopting HomeKit following some big changes for hardware authentication requirements announced this month.

When we asked the company if it would look into newly announced iOS 11 features that allow old products to easily add support, a Nest spokesperson officially told us its “open to supporting” the platform and that it will indeed “consider HomeKit.”

During WWDC earlier this month, Apple made an important announcement coming soon to its HomeKit platform with iOS 11 that didn’t get enough attention. It’s introducing software authentication support, which isn’t only a big deal for getting older, already shipping accessories on the platform, but also notable in general for Apple which for the most part requires a hardware authentication chip in accessories that pass through its official Made-for-iPhone (and iPad, and Apple Watch) licensing program.

The update will be out with iOS 11 in the fall just ahead of the new HomePod Siri speaker that will serve as Apple’s first standalone device for controlling HomeKit products at home.

While many have speculated that Nest wouldn’t support HomeKit due to its affiliation with Google and parent company Alphabet, but that’s not the case based on Nest’s statement to us that it’s “open to supporting HomeKit.” Hardware authentication has long been a large barrier for Nest and other companies not supporting the platform, but that will no longer be an issue later this year with iOS 11…

Up until now, a hardware authentication requirement for HomeKit meant a lot of companies, especially those that have a lineup of multiple smart home products, couldn’t easily add support retroactively or without added cost. Many companies slowly added support by meeting HomeKit requirements as they designed newer generation of products, but some are still holdouts.

In Belkin’s case, the company has not yet supported HomeKit on newer products to avoid an inconsistent experience with other existing products in its Wemo line of smart home products. It eventually, however, announced in May plans for a new bridge product that will add support later this year.

HomeKit already includes support for all product types in Nest’s product line, including security cameras, thermostats, and smoke and fire sensors. This year, Apple will add support for sprinklers and faucets in iOS 11, making for a total 16 product types on the list that also now includes garage doors, window shades, security devices, humidifiers, air conditioners, locks, air purifiers, lights, outlets, fans, cameras, and doorbells.

Check out our roundup of what’s new for HomeKit in iOS 11 for more.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.