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Nest software update brings usability tweaks, more smarts to thermostat

Nest has made a few handy updates to its flagship Learning Thermostat, with more information, better auto-scheduling and easier operation.

Nest Labs

Have a Nest Learning Thermostat ? A software update due this week should add a few interface tweaks and some improved automation smarts.

There's nothing too dramatic about any of the new features coming to Nest software version 4.3. A new "Quick View" feature will put more information about your thermostat and the environment in and around your home in a more prominent place.

Nest Labs

Press the button on the Nest and it will display the indoor and outdoor temperature, as well as the humidity. Turn the outer ring to bring up the menu and each icon will show a tiny bit of relevant information underneath it. You'll see how much heat you've used recently, and you can set it to Home or Away mode with a simple button press, rather than having to go deeper into the menu or waiting for the thermostat to sense your status itself.

A System Test mode is also new, and it will let both you and your service providers cycle through the individual components of your HVAC system one-by-one for a status check. That should make it easier to diagnose any problems.

The last update comes to the thermostat's auto-scheduling feature. Here, Nest says the updated code will help the thermostat adapt to changes in the comings and goings of people in your household more nimbly. The benefit, Nest claims, is a 6 percent saving to your heating and cooling bill.

Those tweaks won't spark a rush of new Nest buyers, but hey, the update is free and as long as it doesn't introduce any bugs, there's not much here to scoff at. Look for the update notice over the course of the week. Enjoy.