Those of you who own a Nest-branded smart device can immediately begin controlling it with your voice, via Amazon's Alexa.

That's right. Nest has two skills that allow its devices to work with Alexa’s voice controls. With the Nest Thermostat skill, for instance, you can ask Alexa to change the temperature of your home. And with the Nest Camera skill, you ask Alexa to show video from your Nest camera. If you’d like to know more about how to connect your Nest devices and control them with Alexa, keep reading.

You, of course, need a Nest device that supports Alexa, as well as the Amazon Alexa app and a mobile device to run the Amazon Alexa app. You also need an Alexa-enabled device, such as an Amazon Echo speaker, for processing your voice commands. (You can also use the Amazon shopping app or Amazon Alexa app to process voice commands, as both have built-in Alexa and can work over LTE and not just Wi-Fi.)

The following Nest devices support Alexa's voice controls:

To get you properly started, we really recommend reading our "How to set-up an Alexa smart home" guide. It has everything you need to know about Amazon's Alexa platform and how it is able to control smart home devices, including Nest's devices. However, to keep things simple, we'll summarise all the specifics you need to know about Nest devices and how to connect them and control them with Alexa.

So, because of Nest's Alexa skills and integration, there’s no need to go to your Nest thermostat or find your phone to control a Nest device. All you have to do is speak a supported command, which we've listed below, and tell Alexa what you want your Nest device to do. But first, you need to connect your Nest devices to the Amazon Alexa app. You can do this by enabling one or both of Nest’s Alexa skills.

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  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the menu button (hamburger icon) in the corner.
  3. Select Smart Home in the Menu list.
  4. Tap Your Smart Home Skills at the bottom of the Smart Home screen.
  5. Tap Enable Smart Home Skills.
  6. Search for Nest Thermostat by Nest Labs and/or Nest Camera by Nest Labs.
  7. Select the skill you want to enable.
  8. Tap Enable.
  9. Enter your Nest account credentials to link your account.
  10. Ask Alexa to discover your Nest devices. Say, "Alexa, discover my devices."

Note: You need to be the owner of the Nest device (which you designate in your Nest account) to set up the Alexa-Nest connection. Those who have shared access, via Nest Family Accounts, cannot set up Alexa-enabled products to work with Nest.

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So, there's a catch to this whole Alexa-Nest voice command thing. Wherever you see “[thermostat name]” or "[camera name]" in the voice command examples below, you need to say the location assigned to your Nest device in the Nest app. If the location is “Kitchen", for instance, you need to say that. To check which location you assigned to your device, open the Nest app on your mobile device.

From there, tap your thermostat or camera in the app, then select Settings, and finally, tap Where. If you don’t say your Nest device’s name when giving a voice command, Alexa will ask you to say the name of the device you want to control. Now, unless you use the word “thermostat” or "camera" as part of your Nest device’s name, don’t say it when speaking to Alexa. Only use the exact location name.

Note: You choose a name for a Nest device when you first get the device and set it up with the Nest app. If you need to know more about how to change the name of your Nest device after the fact, see this Nest guide.

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With Nest’s support for Alexa, you can control your Nest devices while you’re out or at home. Again, there’s no need to go to your Nest device or find your phone. You just need to ensure your Nest device is powered on and connected to Alexa, and that you are within hearing range of an Alexa-enabled device. (You can also use the Amazon shopping app or Amazon Alexa app to process voice commands, as both have built-in Alexa and can work over LTE and not just Wi-Fi.)

If so, just speak one of these commands:

  • Alexa, what's the temperature in [thermostat name]?
  • Alexa, what's the temperature in the house?
  • Alexa, what temperature is my [thermostat name] set to?
  • Alexa, set the [thermostat name] temperature to _ degrees.
  • Alexa, change the [thermostat name] to _ degrees.
  • Alexa, turn my [thermostat name] temperature to _ degree.
  • Alexa, decrease the [thermostat name] temperature.
  • Alexa, increase the [thermostat name] by _ degrees.
  • Alexa, make my [thermostat name] warmer by _ degrees.

Note: If you ask Alexa to change the temperature without saying by how much, it will change by 2F degrees (1C degree).

  • Alexa, show the [camera name].
  • Alexa, show feed from the [camera name].
  • Alexa, show [camera name] feed.
  • Alexa, hide the [camera name].
  • Alexa, hide feed from the [camera name].
  • Alexa, hide the [camera name] feed.

Note: You need an Alexa-enabled device with a screen, such as the Echo Show, to view your Nest camera's feed.

We have more detailed instructions in our guide, but you can also go to the Amazon help hub for more information. Lastly, if you want to know more about the Amazon Alexa app itself, including what all the different screens mean and all their buried features, go here.