By | December 15, 2022
The Dropcam line was eventually replaced by the Nest Cam.

The Dropcam line was eventually replaced by the Nest Cam.
Magnify / The Dropcam line was eventually replaced by the Nest Cam.


In a post on the official Google Nest Community Page, Google announced that it is shutting down service for several old Nest smart home products. Most of these haven’t been for sale in years, but since this is all hardware tied to the cloud, shutting down the servers will render them useless bricks. The good news is that Google is giving existing users deals on hardware upgrades to something supported.

First up is Dropcam, like Nest and Google acquired in 2014 for $555 million and eventually morphed into the Nest Cam line. Server support for Dropcam (and Dropcam Pro) will end on April 8, 2024, and Google says: “Dropcam will no longer work after that date and you will no longer be able to use your Nest app to check status.” The videos are stored online, so Google adds: “If you want to keep your video history, download and save before this date.”

Nest replaced the Dropcam line in 2015, so all of these cameras are around 8 years old. Nest promises five years of support for their own products. However, Google doesn’t just suspend these users; it offers discounts on new Nest Cams if they want to keep rolling with the Google ecosystem. Google says that if users currently subscribe to Nest Aware, they’ll get a free indoor wired Nest Cam ($100 value). Nest Aware is a $6 or $9 monthly subscription that lets you record video from the camera and store it online. Since that subscription fee will match the price of a Nest Cam in a year or two, it makes sense for Google to try to keep subscription revenue flowing. If you don’t have a Nest Aware subscription, Google is offering 50 percent off the indoor wired Nest Cam.

(Although I would encourage you to throw off the shackles of Google always turbulent walled garden and buy something that doesn’t have a monthly fee or rely on the cloud. I like my Unifi Protect system to be self-hosted with decent hardware and a range of camera models, but there are a lot of options out there. Nest Cams simply don’t offer anything to justify the monthly fee, and that gives them a high total cost.)

Next on the Nest chopping block is Nest Secure. This was a $500 home security system with keyboard, window and door sensors, motion detectors and a key fob presence sensor. Google killed the hardware 2020 but will continue to support existing devices until the same date as Dropcam: April 8, 2024. Google says at that date “your Nest Secure will no longer work. It will not be available in the Nest app and will not connect to internet.”

When Google initially announced Nest Secure’s decommissioning, it promised to support the device until at least November 2022 — exactly five years after its November 2017 release — but now it’s getting 6.5 years of support.

Google just announced a rebooted security product in collaboration with ADT, one of the mainstays of the home security market (Google bought a 6.6 percent share in ADT 2020). It’s the same basic product as Nest Secure, but with a mix of Google technology (cameras and smart screens) and ADT technology (the hub, sensors and software). Like the Nest Cams, this hardware is subscription bait: Google and ADT would want it if you subscribed to ADT’s 24/7 professional surveillance, which costs $25-$35 a month, depending on how you’re set up in the house.

Nest Secure owners are offered a free upgrade to the new ADT system — Google calls this an “up to $485 value” — though you’ll have to do a lot of reinstallation, replacing every sensor and component to get it up and running. Another option is a $200 Google Store credit. If you qualify for discounts for Nest Secure or Dropcams, Google says they’ll email you. There is also a recycling program for your dead products.

Nest’s smart home ecosystem, “Works with Nest” also finally got a shutdown date: September 29, 2023. “Works with Nest” was Nest’s original smart home ecosystem, allowing things like your thermostat to change when you leave the house or allowing third- party apps to control your Nest system. Third-party devices can also plug into this system and somehow connect to your thermostat, cameras, or smoke detector.

Works with Nest received a death sentence during 2019, and has been on Google’s death row ever since. Google originally wanted to shut down Works with Nest in August 2019, but delayed the termination after a public outcry. Google still blocked Works with Nest from adding new devices in August 2019, so all systems have been limping since then. If something broke, you were lucky and couldn’t replace it.

At the time, Google wanted Nest users to switch to the “Works with Google Assistant” ecosystem, which is the same basic idea for smart home communication, but without the “not invented here” baggage of the acquired Nest system. It uses a Google account instead of a Nest account, has various hardware compatibility, and most importantly, it lets you control devices with your voice. Of course Google Assistant seems too to be de-prioritized by Google, so Works with Google Assistant is no longer called Works with Google Assistant; it is now called “Works with Google Home.” But “Google Home” is not referring to original Google Home product, which was a smart speaker. That line was removed and replaced with the Nest Audio speakers. “Google Home” now means the app that controls your smart devices, so “Works with Google Home” means you see it in the app. The Nest app, which can also control some Nest devices, is being phased out in favor of the Google Home app.

#Google #Shuts #Servers #Year #Ars #Technica

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