I’ve been using Nest thermostats for the past seven years, and they’re pretty fantastic products. One thing they lack is HomeKit support, though. Starling Home Hub is a turn-key solution to bridge that gap, though. It brings all Nest-connected home products into HomeKit, including thermostats, cameras, and more. Today, the 9.0 firmware update opens up more Nest products into the Apple ecosystem. After installing the update, Google Nest speakers and the Google Nest smart displays will support AirPlay for music, podcasts, etc.
Google added Apple Music support to Google Assistant products last year, but that is only good for playing Apple Music via your voice. I like to use AirPlay to play content from my podcast app and even from Apple Music. I find that choosing a playlist from my iPhone or even my Mac is preferable to starting it from Siri (Homepod) or Google Assistant (Nest speakers).
I was already running a beta of the 9.0 upgrade from Starling Home Hub and set up some Google Nest speakers and a smart display to try out this feature specifically. Once I added the products to Google Home, they were instantly available as AirPlay targets. I set up two Google Nest speakers as a stereo pair in the Google Home app, and it showed up as a target in AirPlay.
If you have a Nest smart display, you’ll even see full metadata and artwork on the screen when you Airplay as well. It works so well, you’d think that Google had natively built support for AirPlay.
The update is free and takes just a few minutes to install. Starling Home Hub continues to be a rock-solid product that is a turn-key solution to add Nest products into HomeKit for a single, one-time payment of $89. While you can certainly get some of the basics of Nest and HomeKit using homebridge, but this AirPlay support is another reason why I am glad I bought the Starling Home Hub last year. It’s continually improved, and now all your Nest audio products can be used as AirPlay targets after installing the update.