With Apple stepping into the home automation arena by way of offering closer device integration through its new HomeKit API announced alongside iOS 8, just about every appliance in the home is potential for being refreshed and gaining deeper connectivity with our iPhones and iPads. Honeywell, a launch partner for Apple’s new home automation development tools, is today announcing its new Lyric smart thermostat to compete against similar offerings from competitors like the now Google-owned Nest.
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Just like the Nest smart thermostat, you can control your climate remotely from the mobile software without having to interact with the display, automate your thermostat to adjust to the right temperature, and let it learn from your schedule to save you money and be more efficiently.
Unlike the Nest smart thermostat, however, it’s not owned by Google. This alone makes it prime for Apple to promote and an option for iPhone and iPad users that don’t trust the new Google-owned Nest.
Apple, of course, still sells the Nest thermostat through its retail channels, but you have to imagine Apple will be pleased to offer a smart thermostat option that isn’t owned by one of its direct competitors. Apple’s SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller even went as far as unfollowing Nest CEO and former Apple iPodfather Tony Fadell following the purchase from Google; there just hasn’t been a prominent competitor to the Nest smart thermostat thus far.
In terms of differentiating itself from the Nest, Honeywell says its Lyric thermostat includes a Fine Tune feature can intelligently adjust the temperature based on “indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather” as part of its algorithm, something it says others do not do.
As for pricing and availability, the Honeywell Lyric will sale for $279 and be available at retail starting August 2014. Honeywell says the Lyric smart thermostat is already available through heating and cooling contractors; if you want to jump to the Lyric before it’s available in retail in August, Honeywell has a directory of local contractors it supports on its website.