Starling Bridge FAQ

Posted on
Fri May 20, 2022 3:22 am
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex, UK [GMT aka UTC]

Starling Bridge FAQ

As some of members of the forums are aware, I am in the process of developing a Starling Bridge plugin to interface to a Starling Home Hub device.

Here's a little FAQ to answer some basic questions.

What is the Starling Home Hub?

The Starling Home Hub device enables you to connect your Nest Cam, Doorbell, Thermostat, Protect, Secure and Nest × Yale Lock products to your Apple Home and Siri.

However, and more importantly for the Indigo community, integrations beyond HomeKit can be created using the Hub's API, so it will allow all Nest products supported by the hub to be integrated with Indigo.

Full details of the Starling Home Hub can be found here: Starling Home Hub

How does the plugin work?

The plugin exposes the Nest devices as Indigo devices. This enables the Nest device states to be viewed and enables a degree of control e.g. control a Thermostat.

The Hub does all the integration with Google and the actual Nest devices - the plugin only talks to the hub via the API. This means that Starling is responsible for all the complex Google and Nest integration and the plugin can focus on the device interface with Indigo.

Will the plugin support all Nest devices?

The plan is for the initial version of the plugin to support Nest Protects, Nest Thermostats and the Nest Home/Away function.

I've been using an old Nest Account with the Nest Home plugin - can this replace it?

The Nest Home plugin used the old "Works with Nest" API that Google deprecated years ago. They left it available to users that had an original Nest account when they bought Nest, and that integration is still available to those customers. If you migrated your Nest account to a Google account or purchased a Nest device after that, the old plugin may not work reliably (or at all). And, due to some changes that Google is making later this year, even that may no longer work. Also, the original developer of the Nest Home plugin is no longer with the Indigo community, so there will be no updates to that plugin.

The Starling Home Hub uses the new Google API (via homebridge) and Google Authentication, so it won't have any of those issues. My plugin's device support may not be identical to the Nest Home plugin, but the initial goal is to support the more common devices. The intention is to add support for all devices supported by the Starling Hub device in a priority order, driven by Indigo user demand.

What do I need to use the plugin?

You will need the $99 Starling Home Hub, which handles all the interface between Nest devices and my plugin. You will also, of course, need some Nest devices and a Google Account.

Awesome! When / where can I get the plugin?

Pre-Alpha testing is currently in progress.I am now looking for alpha testers for this plugin, I already have one volunteer.

The Alpha version will be published as a release on Github,

If you are interested in getting involved in alpha testing, it would be useful to know what Nest devices you use and how you use them.

As of today (Friday, 20th May) and all things being equal, I anticipate the first Alpha release to be within a couple of weeks.

Once I'm confident in the quality of the release, I'll put it up in the Plugin Store.

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