Google bought Nest a few years ago. It is now integrating Nest fully into its smart home products. This will make using Nest more secure, improve privacy and make it easier to integrate Nest with other Google products.
These changes will effect new and old customers although Google are at pains to point out that the changes will be minimal.
We explain the new features below and what they mean. There is also advice for our existing Nest customers on what updates they need to make and when.
Migration from Nest Account to Google Account
Later this summer Google will be sending out invitations to existing Nest users
- To create a Google account if you do not already have one
- Or to merge your Nest account with an existing Google account
You will then have one Google account that can manage all of your Google products and devices, which will provide easier control and login, as well as better interaction between devices.
The Google account also provides more control over your privacy e.g. by allowing you to determine what devices can share what data.
Merging Nest with an existing account may require you to changes some settings e.g. if you have different family members set up on the two accounts.
New Nest customers will in future simply sign up for a Google Account or use an existing one by default, rather than sign up for a Nest account.
We haven’t seen a precise date announced for this, but other changes are happening from 31st August so we believe it will be around this time.
Works with Google Assistant (WWGA)
If you want to set up automatic routines so that Nest products can trigger actions in other smart devices or vice versa, you will in future use Works with Google Assistant.
This will mean some changes for anyone using the existing Works with Nest (WWN) capability, which is the old way of connecting Nest products to other smart devices
Google Assistant is software that you find in many places: as an app on Android or iOS phones, on Google Home voice devices, and on TVs, displays, cars and other devices running Android.
WWGA will offer enhanced security over WWN. For examples integrators have to undergo security audits and users will be able to choose the specific data they want to share.
Moving from Works with Nest to Works with Google Assistant
Works with Nest connections will continue to work after 31st August but you will not be able to create new ones from that date on.
So, for example, if you have an Amazon Alexa set up to change the temperature on your Nest using voice commands, that will continue to work without any changes.
But you will not be able to add new routines or to integrate other devices via WWN e.g. to control some new Philips Hue light bulbs that you might purchase.
Also, if new features are added to the Nest, you will not be able to add new features to your routines.
All you need to do to avoid this is to move from your Nest Account to a Google Account.
However, make sure that your existing automations between smart devices are supported on Google Assistant before making the change.
For example, if you use Amazon Alexa with your Nest, check out that the Amazon Alexa is working with Google Assistant (it’s currently under development)
Google are also working on adding Home/Away Assist features to Google Assistant and this is an important feature to have ready before you switch.
The change from Works with Nest to Works with Google Assistant will also require you to set up Google Assistant routines to manage the automations you previously had on WWN.
If you are interested in setting up Works with Nest while it is still available, we have an FAQ on using it with Google Assistant
This article has raised the issue of privacy. More smart devices reaching into more areas of your life is making this a major concern. We will be examining this in more detail in a future article.
Further reading on Works with Nest
Google’s statement about the changes that are coming:
Nest FAQs on Nest and what is happening:
All about Google Assistant and what it can do:
Stacey Higginbotham is a great commentator on everything to do with the Internet of Things (IoT) including home automation and smart homes. This article talks about the impact on IFTTT of “Works with Nest” changing to “Works with Google Assistant”
“How-to-geek” may have a name that puts you off, but their article has great details and examples for those already using Works with Nest