Google will drop Dropcam and Nest Secure in 2024

Google is ending support for the Dropcam and the Nest Secure home security system in exactly one year, on April 8th, 2024. They are among the few remaining Nest products that haven’t been brought over to Google Home, and their demise hints that the new Google Home app might almost be here. At least, no more than a year away. Surely.

Google is also winding down the last few legacy Works with Nest connections, but not ‘til September 29th.

Good looking out.
Image: The Verge

Dropcam had a good run

Existing Dropcam cameras will keep working until April 8th, 2024, after which you won’t be able to access them from the Nest app. To soften the blow, Google’s offering a free indoor wired Nest Cam to Dropcam owners who subscribe to Nest Aware. Nonsubscribers will get a 50 percent-off coupon. The promotion runs until May 7, 2024, so you can keep using your Dropcam until it stops working.

The Dropcam (fka Dropcam HD) came out in 2012, and the Dropcam Pro in 2013. Then, Google bought Nest, and Nest bought Dropcam. In 2015, Google spun Nest out when it formed Alphabet, and for a while, Google and Nest were both making smart home products. Then, Google reabsorbed Nest in 2018, and there’s been a whole lot of messy business trying to integrate Nest products into the Google Home app — and killing off the ones that can’t be integrated.

The “can’t be integrated” list included the Nest x Yale door lock and Nest Guard sensors, which Google dropped last year. Now that it’s dropping Dropcam and Nest Secure, the Nest Protect smart smoke alarms are the only Nest App-only devices left, and Google has promised to bring them to the new Google Home app. The updated app has been in public preview since October, and there’s still no firm date, but it must be getting close, right?

Presumably, there are people out there who bought the very first Dropcam back in 2010 and traded it in for a free Dropcam HD in 2015 who are now gonna be trading that in for a Nest Cam. That’s kinda neat from a customer service standpoint but not that great from an e-waste standpoint (though Google will ship you a prepaid recycling box if you ask.)

Nest Secure, we hardly knew ye

The Nest Secure had… a less auspicious run and a less graceful offramp. It launched in 2017 and was canceled three years later, right after Google invested a bunch of money into ADT. Like the Dropcam, it’ll continue to work until April 8th, 2024, but Google would sure like you to upgrade before then. Google’s statement says,

We will be contacting eligible Nest Secure customers on Friday with an exclusive offer for a complimentary next-generation security system from ADT (up to $485 value), or $200 to use on the Google Store.

That’d be the ADT Self Setup system Google announced last week, with an ADT smart home hub, two door / window sensors, a motion sensor, and a year of free monitoring. That promotion also goes until May 7, 2024. While it’s better than a kick in the pants, I’m not sure the people who bought the Nest Secure are eager to run back into the arms of a traditional security company. (Maybe they’ve changed! Google’s statement says you can cancel the $20 / month monitoring fee for the self-setup system at any time). The ADT system does have the advantage of working with Google Home, which is kinda the whole point here.

Works with Nest won’t

Google sorta shut down the Works With Nest program back in 2019 in favor of Works With Google Assistant, but it let existing connections slide. That door officially closes on September 29th, 2023. Ruchi Desai, Group Product Manager at Google Nest, told The Verge, “All WWN connections will be impacted: for example legacy Alexa skill, legacy Google Assistant integration, all legacy Nest integrations with 3P partners (IFTTT, Lutron, etc.), and individual developers who use the WWN platform in their solutions.”

Most legacy Works with Nest integrations have already been replaced with Google Assistant ones, but not all — there doesn’t seem to be a current Alexa skill, and not all features of the IFTTT integration seem to be available in the replacement. Google says the web-based script editor it teased in October should close some of the remaining gaps. It isn’t live yet — Google would only tell me “it’ll be launching in 2023” — so it remains to be seen whether any features will get lost in translation.

A less messy home, eventually

Google previously committed to supporting Nest products for at least five years, and it did meet that standard. If you’ve been holding onto a Dropcam for more than a decade, it’s hard to argue that you didn’t get your money’s worth, I guess. And the new one is much better. Though on the other hand, if the hardware still works, why shouldn’t it keep working?

If I was a Nest Secure owner, though, I’d be pissed! Nobody wants to buy a new security system ever if they don’t have to, and having to get a new one from ADT feels like salt in a wound, even if it is a year off.

It’s great that the Nest and Google Home ecosystems are finally almost merged. I’m sure the headwinds were considerable! I am looking forward to the new Google Home app when it gets here. Now if only they’d do something about that Nest Hub Max interface…

Source: The Verge

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