SmartThings Community

The untold story of Google I/O 2019 - The irresponsible attempt to kill "Works with Nest"

Looks like we will now get a few months of these “partners” trying to convince Alphabet/Google to give them the same access that the Alexa skill is getting… I guess that is one way to “shake things up”…

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This is such a :poop: storm of communications.


Even if it might be taken out of context, what Nest’s boss said in an interview with Business Insider should make most of us reconsider investing in the new Google Nest products. When the problem comes from the top executive level, there isn’t much hope for anything else:

“Part of this is making us rethink decisions
we’ve made in the past,” Chandra said. “[Moving
forward] we’re not going to allow the owner
dictate how our products work.”

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Yep. They have taken a really big hit on the nestcams stories even though in that case it was user error.

In Europe, a lot of the regulation is designed around the philosophy that it should not be possible for the customer to harm themselves with the product.

In the US, a lot of regulation is designed around the philosophy that the customer should be warned that certain activities might allow themselves to harm themselves with the product.

These are very different in practice when it comes to both engineering and interface design.

As we already mentioned, Google has had to pay very large fines, some in the billions of dollars, in the EU in the last couple of years, and they haven’t even gotten around to looking at privacy yet.

I think they’ve decided if they want to sell into the EU market, they need to follow the EU consumer protection policies more closely. So that means cutting off a lot of feature options that were previously available.

When you think about it, it’s similar to what Samsung has done with regard to arming/disarming the security features of smartthings, including even unlocking a lock, in the design of the V3 app versus the V2 classic app.

FAQ: Why can’t I use Geopresence or an Automation to set the alarm state in the new (V3) app?

So I don’t think these features are coming back to google. There will always be a few companies which have a more open philosophy, but there’s just too much business strategy based on liability risk reduction for everyone to leave it open.

I’ve previously mentioned the example of childproof caps on prescription medications in the US. Once they made it a law that all the prescriptions had to have these caps, they then discovered that there was a fairly large population of disabled and elderly people who couldn’t get their medication bottles open!

So they modified the laws to allow you to individually request “easy open” caps when you place the prescription order. That worked OK for a couple of years.

But then “best practices” changed again so that now most of the mail order pharmacies ship the medication in a bottle with a child lock Installed, and a means of disabling the child lock after you get the bottle if you want it to be easy open.

The problem with that is it means that people like me have to have someone else set up the Cap the first time after the package arrives before the bottle can be opened. It can be quite annoying. but “safety first“ and all that. :rage:


More and more it seems that good people are punished for the actions of a few bad/stupid people.


Don’t blame stupid people - blame their greedy class action lawyers.


That could certainly be true for the US, but not for the UK or EU. It’s not class action lawsuits there that are driving these changes: it’s government regulations. And fines. Which are way more than any class action suit in the US.


I said “bad/stupid”. I believe that covers lawyers too.


My view is the security/privacy is their hoax. The real issue is a cloud strategy for integration is not scalable or affordable.

They were losing $$ on each unit because of the cloud API activity, and it was only getting worse as more usage of their API occurred. They really need a local API, but this does not fit their strategy that they know as much as they can about you to guide their advertising and attempt to drive the purchases.

I do think this is a crass land grab, in their case they think it is land that they own (regardless of the fact that someone should file a class action against them demanding rebate/refunds to everyone who bought based on “work with…” claims). It would be a great test of can cloud providers bait and switch at will.

This will narrow innovation on their platform, and I hope it fails miserably for them.

They do not have a plan for automation, but for “remote control” - either voice, or other very simplistic means.

Separately, I think all vendors that do a cloud API for device interrogation and control are going to fail - the architecture is just broken (in scale, and economics). So expect us to see every cloud based API go away and only local control (or cloud redirect to local) to survive.


You vastly overestimate the cost of cloud computing. For Google, it is pennies per year per customer.


Hopefully enough people drop their pricey cloud subscriptions so they can get the message that you can’t change the rules after the game starts, without consequences.

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Lots of cloud-based systems are very successful, Including most voice assistants such as Siri, Google assistant, echo… Google nest isn’t dropping the cloud. They’re just dropping most third-party integrations to the cloud because they can’t control those, But they know they are still going to be held responsible for them.

The head of the initiative got geeky enough that I think it’s real. He says “there’s no TOS when you enter a house.” They’re worried about the liabilities of what visitors, kids, And even inattentive device owners can cause to happen.

I’m not saying they don’t don’t want to mine as much data as they can, because they do. I’m not saying I trust any of their privacy promises, because I don’t. But I think this move is all about keeping control of the cloud, and avoiding more of the fines they’ve been paying in the EU, not about the costs of the cloud architecture itself.

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And that’s a real shame - because surely any adult who buys a product ought to be able to agree to any reasonable contract, including one that allows the storage of activity data as well as sharing that data with partners when the owner of the device explicitly permits the partner to access the device.

It should then be the device owner’s responsibility to ensure that any guests or children do not use the device without authorization.

In the case of voice control, this means voice ID.

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For the US or Canada, sure. That’s consistent with consumer safety philosophy.

But it’s not How regulation generally works in the EU.

This is why we love America :us:. … I presume.


Except the kettle toaster thing is a joke. You can find literally hundreds of myths about the EU and their regulation on an official EU site about the lies peddled by the British right wing press, like the Daily Telegraph. Here is the relevant article debunking the Daily Torygraph article you have posted: