The New Nest Thermostat Spells the End of the Nest App

An iPhone with the Nets application open in the App Store.
Postmodern studio

Google has a new Nest thermostat for your consideration, and it’s cheaper and easier to install than ever before. But there’s another great detail that’s easy to miss: You don’t control it with the Nest app, like all Nest thermostats. Instead, you’re using the Google Home app, it’s the beginning of the end for the Nest app.

A little bit of history

A Nest thermostat on a white wall
Josh Hendrickson

It can be hard to remember, but Nest hasn’t always been a Google product. Nest Labs began life as a standalone company, founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. This company released the original, second-generation Nest Learning Thermostat, as well as the Nest Protect smoke detector.

But in 2014, Google bought the company, promising to let it run independently from other Google divisions and to keep all data separate. Little by little, that changed: the Nest division expanded to cover other hardware such as smart cameras, speakers and displays. He also joined the hardware division of Google.

Finally, Google announced that the Works with Nest program would end, and Works with Google Assistant would take its place. To take advantage of new features and add new Nest products, Google asks you to convert your Nest Account to a Google Account.

Last May, Google revamped their Nest Aware subscription plans for Nest cameras. The new plans save you money if you have multiple cameras, but offer less viewing history than the original Nest Aware subscriptions. Again, if you want to join the new plans, you’ll need to convert your Nest Account to a Google Account. If you don’t have a Nest account, you can’t create one. you must use a google account.

Two apps with duplicated functionality

This brings us up to speed. Today, Google offers two main apps for controlling smart home devices. The first is Google Home, which manages smart speakers and displays, and third-party smart home integrations like smart bulbs and plugs, as well as some Nest thermostats.

The second is the Nest app, which controls Nest thermostats, Nest cameras, like Nest Hello and Nest Indoor, and Nest Protect. With Nest, you can view your camera feeds, turn off Nest Protect, and of course adjust your Nest thermostat settings.

But increasingly, both apps are duplicating capabilities. You can already control some Nest thermostats in both Google Home and the Nest app. The Nest app offers Home and Away, and Now options Google Home too. And according to Google, Nest Protect will arrive on Google Home In the coming months”.

The Nest thermostat is the first nail in the coffin

The new Nest thermostat on a white wall
Google

None of this meant that the Nest app would disappear, of course. But maintaining two apps with duplicate functionality requires additional resources. And the Nest app already needed changes to support Google Accounts, which Google Home had since day one.

But the first nail in the coffin is the latest Nest thermostat. It works exclusively in the Google Home app; you can’t pair it with the Nest app. Nest thermostats were the hallmark of the Nest app. It’s easy to see the writing on the wall; It’s only a matter of time before Google adds full integration of Nest cameras into the Google Home app, along with the promised addition of Nest Protect.

“At this point, it won’t be surprising that Google announces a new Nest camera that only works with Google Home.” Over time, passionate Nest users who have maintained Nest accounts may need to convert. Old products are dying and new features are too tempting. First comes the account conversion, then the switch to the Google Home app.

None of this wrong, of course. I maintain that control your entire smart home from a single app is much more convenient than maintaining multiple apps with duplicate functionality. At this point, the Nest app is doing very little that Google Home isn’t, and the gap is closing. And the Google Home app does a lot of things the Nest app will never do, like controlling your smart bulbs.

But it’s still the beginning of the end of Nest Labs’ original dream, even though Nest itself has a bright future absorbed into Google.

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