Google has a new Nest Thermostat for your consideration, and it̵7;s cheaper and easier to install than ever. But there is another outstanding detail that is easy to miss – you can not control it with the Nest app, like all Nest thermostats. Instead, use the Google Home app – this is the beginning of the end for the Nest app.
A quick piece of history
It may be hard to remember, but Nest was not always a Google product. Nest Labs started life as an independent company, founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. That company released the original and second generation Nest Learning Thermostat, along with the Nest Protect smoke detector.
But in 2014, Google bought the company and promised to let it continue independent of other Google divisions and keep all data separate. Eventually, that changed: the Nest division grew to cover other hardware such as smart cameras, speakers, and monitors. It also joined Google’s hardware division.
Eventually, Google announced that the Works with Nest program would end and Works with Google Assistant would take its place. To get new features and add new Nest products, Google requires you to convert your Nest account into a Google Account.
In May, Google renewed its Nest Aware subscription plans for Nest cameras. The new plans save money when you have multiple cameras, but offer less viewing history than the original Nest Aware subscriptions. Again, to join the new plans, you will need to convert your Nest account into a Google Account. If you do not have a Nest account, you can not create one; You must use a Google Account.
Two apps with duplicate functionality
It gives us speed. Today, Google has two primary apps for managing smart home devices. The first is Google Home, which handles smart speakers and screens, and third-party smart home integrations such as smart lights and plugs and some Nest Thermostats.
The other is the Nest app, which controls Nest Thermostats, Nest cameras, such as Nest Hello and Nest indoors, and Nest Protect. Through Nest you can view your camera flows, silence Nest Protect and of course adjust the Nest Thermostat settings.
But more and more, the two apps are duplicating features. You can already check some Nest thermostats in both Google Home and the Nest app. The Nest app has options for home and away, and now Google Home has it too. And according to Google, Nest Protect will arrive at Google Home sometime in the coming months.
The Nest thermostat is the first nail in the coffin
Of course, none of this meant that the Nest app would disappear. But maintaining two apps with duplicate functionality requires extra resources. And the Nest app already required changes to support Google Accounts, something that Google Home had from day one.
But the first nail in the coffin is the latest Nest Thermostat. It works exclusively in the Google Home app; you can not pair it with the Nest app. Nest Thermostats was the hallmark of the Nest app. It is easy to see the text on the wall; it’s only a matter of time before Google adds full integration for Nest cameras in the Google Home app, along with the promised addition of Nest protect.
“At that time, it’s not surprising if Google announces a new Nest camera that only works with Google Home.” As time goes on, avid Nest users who have Nest accounts will eventually need to convert. Old products are dying, and new features are too tempting. First comes account conversion, and then comes the switch to the Google Home app.
None of this bad, of course. I argue that it is much more convenient to control your entire smart home from one app than to maintain multiple dual-function apps. At this point, the Nest app does very little that Google Home does not, and the gap is closed. And the Google Home app does a lot The Nest app will never do, like control your smart light bulbs.
But it’s still the beginning of the end for Nest Lab’s original dream, even though Nest itself has a bright future absorbed by Google.