Google acquires Nest's line of home automation products for $3.2 billion, pledges continued support for iOS

We'll be honest: if you told us a big company was going to buy Nest, we wouldn't have guessed Google. After all, the home automation company was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both ex-members of the original iPod team. Heck, the Nest Thermostat is sold at Apple stores, and is referred to in the blogosphere as something of an honorary Apple product. But whaddya know? Google just scooped up the outfit for a cool $3.2 billion. That bit of inside baseball aside, Google is being quick to assure users that Nest will continue to operate under its own brand -- not unlike Motorola. Quoth Mr. Fadell: "Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We've had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship."

Also, to answer the obvious question you're all asking: yes, Nest will continue to offer apps for both iOS and Android. That means Apple fans will still be able to tinker around with their thermostats and Nest Protect smoke detectors even after the acquisition goes through. There's also a possibility that Google's other products will eventually integrate more tightly with the Nest lineup, but so far, Google is staying mum. "Nest's product line obviously caught the attention of Google and I'm betting that there's a lot of cool stuff we could do together, but nothing to share today," said Rogers. In a pair of blog posts, Nest's founders promised the company would keep its "distinct brand identity" and that it takes privacy seriously, with a policy that limits the sharing of customer info to improving its services. Until that day comes, then, we'll leave you to speculate -- feel free to leave your best guesses in the comments.