Whether you're a smart home enthusiast or are just dipping your toes into these sorts of products, chances are you're familiar with Google Home and Nest products. The former is a brand through which Google sells smart speakers and displays, whereas the latter is home to some of the most popular connected cameras and thermostats.
Google Home and Nest products have worked really well with one another for a while, but later this year, they're going to be even further connected thanks to a new Google Nest brand the two companies are launching.
From understanding what that new name means to figuring out how this will affect your gadgets, here's everything you need to know.
What's up with the new name?
Instead of having Google Home products and Nest products, everything will soon live under the unified "Google Nest" brand. This includes Google's speakers, Nest cameras, thermostats, etc.
The change will take some time to fully roll out, but we are seeing some effects of it already. The Google Home Hub smart display which just launched this past October is now called the Nest Hub (opens in new tab). Everything about the hardware and user experience is exactly the same, it's just that its retail box now says Nest Hub instead of Google Home Hub.
Similarly, Google recently launched the Nest Hub Max (opens in new tab) which is a larger version of the regular Nest Hub and features a bigger screen, stereo speakers, hand gestures, and a Nest security camera that can keep an eye on your home when you're away.
Google says that its other products, like Google Home and Google Home Mini, will be rebranded to Nest as well, but it's unclear when exactly that will happen.
What will happen to my Google and Nest accounts?
Prior to this change, Google Home devices were managed with a Google account and Nest products lived under a Nest account. Over the coming months, Nest users will be asked to migrate their Nest account over to their Google account.
The goal here is to simplify your experience when using Google and Nest products, giving you just one account to manage rather than two.
Migrating your Nest account to a Google one is not required, and if you choose to keep your standalone Nest account, your account will stay under Nest's existing terms and conditions/privacy policies instead of being moved over to Google's. Furthermore, you'll continue to receive updates to your devices if you keep your Nest account.
If you do choose to migrate over to a single Google account, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Nest will still publish the Nest mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Google accounts can be set up with 2-step verification if you aren't already using it.
- Nest's 2-step verification won't transfer over to your Google account.
Is anything changing with the Works with Nest program?
Works with Nest launched in 2014 as a way for people to easily find smart home products that worked seamlessly with Nest devices. As part of the Google Nest rebrand, Works with Nest is being shut down on August 31, 2019.
Any Works with Nest connections you have on your Nest account need to be removed when migrating over to a Google account, and if you choose to keep your Nest account, those connections will continue to work until that August 31 date rolls around.
In its place, the functionality of Works with Nest will be replaced by the Works with Google Assistant program. Chances are you're already using your Nest products with the Assistant, but if you aren't, this allows you to use your voice to perform commands such as:
- Make it warmer
- What's the temperature inside?
- Cast my Front Door to the Living Room TV
- Set Nest Secure to Away and Guarding
Will this really impact my day-to-day usage?
Unless you live and die by the Works with Nest program, this transition shouldn't have too much of a negative impact on you. In fact, the changes being made sound like they're for the better.
Having the option to merge two services under a single Google account should be easier for those of us that already have a million other accounts to keep tabs on, and from a business perspective, having all of its smart home products now live under the Google Nest name makes a lot of sense for Google.
The whole idea of this transition is to simplify things where they need a bit of work, and based on what we're seeing so far, Google and Nest are doing what they can to make the process as seamless as can be.
I have considered getting Nest Cams but the lack of video clip recordings on the free tier has kept me from purchasing. The Nest Aware pricing is not bad though I think they could go a little cheaper on the price for adding additional cameras. But I would prefer a product that works better with Assistant / Casting then what I currently have.
What people like myself are upset about losing is the ability to use Nests as triggers. turning things on when it switches to away, setting temp limits to turn stuff on, or off. this will now be impossible unless Google assistant starts making routines that allow non-verbal or time-based triggers. This change is also allegedly removing ANY ability to control anything nest over Alexa. Anyone using alexa to control their thermostat will lose that functionality come Aug31.
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