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Nest smart thermostat 4.3 update adds at-a-glance icons, more energy savings

Simplified UI should make it easier to tell what Nest is doing, while behind the scenes tweaks should save you even more cash

Nest, the gorgeously minimal smart thermostat that kickstarted a wave of app- and web-controlled heating gadgets, has just been updated to software version 4.3, bringing with it a major visual overhaul and the promise of even greater evergy savings over previous updates.

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The announcement, which was made on the official Nest blog, covered the three major upgrades; a new icon-based UI, an improved auto-schedule and an integrated system test. The visual upgrade is the most noticeable, swapping the text-based UI of the previous software version with icons, to better represent what the information on each screen corresponds to. The time, outside temperature and humidity are now displayed on the thermostat with a single push, letting you know whether to bring a coat or umbrella when leaving home, while turning the ring will rotate through a summary of everything else the Thermostat controls, including how much evergy you used the previous day and what’s up next on your schedule.

The improved Auto-Schedule should be able to save up to 6% more on heating bills, because it is able to learn new schedules faster than with previous versions of the software. When your schedule shifts, for example when the school holidays are over and you don’t need to heat the house during the day, it will detect that your changes are part of a new schedule, rather than a one-off and adjust itself accordingly.

Finally, a new system test will check your boiler and radiators to ensure they are working correctly, and that there’s no loss of pressure. If everything’s fine it will report back on the Thermostat, but if it finds a loss of efficiency over time it will alert the user. During installation, a heating engineer can use System Test to detect any problems and fix them before they leave your house – saving you an expensive call-out charge at a later date.

As you might expect for a company wholly owned by Google, Nest plans to add Google Now integration in a future update, letting you control your heating with your voice and a paired smartphone or tablet – although there’s no current date planned for its addition.

Every Wi-Fi connected Nest thermostat should get the 4.3 update soon, with the rollout starting today across every territory where Nest is available. It will be free for all customers.

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