Update (Apr 7, 2023, 1:45 pm ET): Google has announced when support for Nest Secure will end.
Nest has seemed stagnant for the last several years. After all, this month saw the release of the first new Nest Thermostat in over three years, and there haven't been any new Nest cameras announced since early 2018. That was back when the Nest Hello finally launched after being announced alongside the Nest Secure system.
That same Nest Secure system was discontinued without warning this week, and no reason was given for the abrupt end of one of the few viable alternatives to Ring Alarm. Google has pledged that it will continue to support current users, but we have no clue how long that will last, especially given how hard Google has been pushing to migrate users from the Nest app to Google Home. Case in point: the new Nest Thermostat doesn't use the Nest app at all; you have to use the Google Home app to set it up and control it.
Getting back to the trainwreck at hand: the Nest Secure system — specifically the Nest Guard hub and Nest Detect sensors — is now discontinued with no reason and no warning, and there's no replacement in sight. While the ability for Nest Aware to pair with Google Assistant-powered speakers to recognize the sounds of smoke alarms, breaking glass, and busted pipes can be useful in their own right, they don't replace the need for a fully-fledged, full-home security system for millions of users. And while the Nest Secure system has regularly gone on sale for $250 in the last 18 months, the system was $500 at launch ($400 after 2018). That's a significant investment that now has no future.
Nest Secure users are (quite understandably) upset by the news:
As someone who still hasn't recovered from the end of Inbox, the shutdown of Nest Secure feels eerily familiar: a service that was killed for seemingly no reason and with no complete replacement available (shut up, Gmail's notifications and bundle functions suck).
Of course, there are some big questions current users have about where to go from here:
How long can I keep using my Nest Secure system?
Google has said it'll continue to support the Nest Secure system, but we don't have a timetable for how long that'll last. Given the EOL support we've seen from past Google services that were discontinued, I'd expect to see Google start winding down support in 18-24 months. By that point, Google might've expanded Google Home and Google Assistant's smart home security compatibility so that you can build your own alarm system that isn't completely dependent on Nest or its subscriptions.
Can I still expand my current Nest Secure system?
Yes, you can keep adding Nest Detect Sensors and Nest Tags — if you can find them, that is. The Nest Detect is sold out at all major retailers and at Google Store, though we hope it's being re-stocked given that it isn't showing "No longer available" like the Nest Guard is. The Nest Tag is still available at the Google Store, though that accessory isn't as necessary to the system the way Detect sensors are.
Nest Detect sensors are already starting to see price gouging on eBay and other reseller sites, and it's only going to get more ridiculous as the remaining supply sells out. We saw the same thing happen when the Chromecast Audio was discontinued last year. Jeez, Google, you kill everything fun and niche, don't you?
Is there any chance this system will integrate with future Google Nest offerings?
Technically, Nest Detect sensors could be integrated into whatever security offering Google develops in its future collaboration with ADT, but that offering would inevitably require a monthly subscription for ADT's professional monitoring. That said, I wouldn't count on them being merged into any new buy-as-you-go home security system. Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will still work on their own — the Nest Protect isn't part of this week's discontinuation — and of course, Nest's cameras and Nest Aware subscription will keep on keeping on.
What should I move to instead for home security?
The most obvious alternative to Nest Secure is Ring Alarm, though Amazon has more security concerns with its system than Nest does. Well, the Nest Secure did have one whammy of a problem after it was discovered that the Nest Guard hub had a microphone inside that wasn't revealed until over a year after it launched.
Simplisafe is a similar system that's compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but it's lesser-known and not quite as trusted as Nest and Ring. Blue by ADT is also an option, but probably not worth the cost for most folks, not to mention ADT's billing department tends to be a bear to deal with.
Google has confirmed that while you won't be able to buy the full Nest Secure system anymore, it'll still be making Tags and Detect sensors available for purchase. The full Nest Secure system may not be available, but you can get a close enough experience with these, Google implies.
In an email sent to customers, the company said:
"We're reaching out to give you an update on your Nest Secure alarm system. We sold out of Nest Secure and won't be making the full system available for sale any longer. We are committed to bringing you the same feature and software support you've always had with Nest Secure, including existing cross-product integrations within the Nest ecosystem. We will also continue to deliver critical security updates and software fixes. You shouldn't notice any change with your Nest Secure experience. Nest Tags are currently available on the Google Store, and we're working to have more Nest Detect sensors available for sale by mid-December."
Google has confirmed that support for Nest Secure will end in 2024. The company has also announced that support for Dropcam is ending, as well as the Works with Nest program.
However, the company is issuing coupons for a new Nest Cam, and existing Nest Secure users are being offered the new ADT Self Setup system.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.