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

I agree with this belief.

There have been dozens of examples over the past few years of hardware products with add-on services that have plainly shutdown, been acquired and continued, or been acquired and killed.

Some of these were quite unpredictable, I think: e.g., Pebble
(and Halo, and, of course, Iris, and …).

There is no such thing as “lifetime service”, unless you are just describing the lifetime of the product and/or company. Always read the Terms of Service (or just assume they disclaim as many warranties as possible).

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The bottom line is minimize your exposure to Cloud-based home automation devices. You are reliant on the continued support from the device developer and their acquiring companies. Zigbee, Z-wave and UPNP devices solve this. There are also some devices that have local wifi control with published APIs. If you must obtain cloud-controlled devices, go with major suppliers who do not have delusions of controlling the world.

Perhaps we should push for legislation requiring Home Automation devices have published APIs and do not rely on the Cloud for execution (but can use the cloud). Example is the older TP-Link plugs, switches, and bulbs.

The fact that it was mentioned as a SDK made me assume that it could be used by others. This is in reference to the communications between the Google home speakers and Wi-Fi devices like light bulbs, not assistant running local on a phone.

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You cannot regulate the stupid or mismanagement. For that, there is a different way to safeguard against. Consumer boycott. If you don’t like their practice, there is an old saying for that " fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again" :slight_smile:

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The part about this that sucks the most for me, is that I’ll no longer be able to make super-long timelapses. :\ I’ve done some really neat ones using their API by taking a snapshot every minute over weeks, including the neighbors house being built and a retaining wall being installed in my back yard. With Nest’s built in timelapse I can’t easily tell it to skip nighttime or weekends, and making timelapses that are longer than a week is effectively impossible without copy/pasting together a lot of them.

Also, with local snapshots, I don’t have to worry about putting the timelapse together before the video is erased from the cloud.

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Take this Google! :slight_smile:

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According to Verge…

Some popular Works with Nest integrations that will break on August 31st, 2019 or earlier:

  • Amazon Alexa will not be able to adjust the Nest Thermostat or display Nest Cam feeds
  • Logitech Harmony remotes won’t be able to change Nest alarm and home / away modes
  • Philips Hue lights will not be able to change color when Nest Protect detects smoke or carbon monoxide, nor will they be able to change state when Nest Cam detects movement
  • Lutron lights will not turn on when the Nest thermostat or Nest Cam detects people
  • August Home will not be able to set the Nest Thermostat to home or away when locks are opened or closed
  • SimpliSafe will not be able to directly set the Nest Thermostat to home or away
  • Wemo switches will not be able to change state when Nest is set to home or away
    ++
    (* Abode will not be able to receive smoke alarms from Nest Protect, change the location to home or away, or take pictures from Nest cameras in the event of a security alert.)
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Accurate! :rofl:

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ToS isn’t always upheld. You can’t put anything in a ToS if it violates existing laws or consumer protection standards. “By signing up for a Nest a account, you hereby agree to not sue us if we secretly record you naked and blackmail you”.

ToS isn’t above the law. On their box and promotional material it says that it works with Alexa. I don’t care about your ToS. You can’t turn a feature off and not violate consumer protection laws. If not, then are they allowed to just stop the “detects smoke” feature of my Protect? Silly.

I’m going to get a refund, even if it’s at the hands of Best Buy. They can deal with the manufacturer on their own. This is not the first I’ve done this.

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Like others have suggested, I recommend reaching out to Nest to make sure your concerns are heard:

George M: Hi. Thanks for contacting Nest Live Chat. My name is George. I’m here to help.
Me: Hi George. I heard that the Nest Thermostats will be losing their API. Is this true? I’m fairly concerned as this is the reason I bought them.
George M: Hi, Michael. I will be glad to help you with the information.
George M: Yes, the “Works with Nest” integration will not work. However, we would like to inform you that, managing and controlling Google Home, Nest, and thousands of third-party smart home devices is done through the Google Home app and the Google Assistant after migration.
George M: Also, while we don’t have anything to announce today, we are exploring ways for our customers to continue to use APIs with your Nest products after account migration and when the works with Nest service shuts down.
Me: But the API allowed me to turn the heat on or off based off of various temperature and light sensors in my condo. For example, if it’s very sunny outside, the heat goes off and the blinds go up.
Me: This is a bit worrisome. Is there going to be a refund channel?
Me: A way of can get my money back given that the product has been hindered after I bought it?
George M: I understand the inconvenience, Michael. But we do not want our customers to be worried about migration to Google account as this still works with a Google assistant.
Me: I just read your previous reply
Me: Hopefully the API can remain
Me: I guess I’ll stay tuned for updates.
Me: I just hope Nest realizes this will make many people angry
George M: Yes, we are not ready to completely stop the API as this effects our smart control features of nest products.
Me: If features can be removed after the fact, they how do I know my Protect will still detect CO2 later on?
Me: Anyway, just giving some feedback
Me: Thanks for the chat. I’ll stay tuned for updates.
George M: Sure, there are more updates to come in and please be rest assured you will not be disappointed by the migration as this will lead to more intuitive control over your devices.
George M: Thank you for your valuable feedback. Do you have any further questions for me today?
Me: No. Thanks George.

Ultimately, it sounds like a “wait and see” scenario. I believe that they will allow API access in some form (whether via Assistant or special partners or something else) that will satisfy some percentage of the community. I wouldn’t start replacing existing Nest hardware just yet. But if I was buying new hardware, I’d probably shy away from Nest products for now.

Sure, if you are the type of person who can stand the “wait and see” scenario. But for OCD people like me, the “wait” part drives us crazy. lol

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@AdamHLG …keep us posted :slight_smile:

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As official as it can get…

image

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At least with the current state of things, Google seems confused about the complete definition of Home Automation.

True full automation should require little or no interaction beyond its initial setup.

Google seems to think that nearly every automation needs to start with a voice activated trigger, courtesy of Google Assistant.

Then their idea of an automation is a Routine, which is a sequence of actions. You build the sequence of actions, and assign a spoken phrase to trigger them. It’s a locked phrase, and doesn’t use any kind of logic to interpret what you’re asking for. You have to use the exact phrase. You might as well be using a button. Push the button and the sequence of actions happen. You can also use a alarm, (if you’ve installed Google Alarm on your device), but again that’s just a trigger.

That definition is missing most of what makes Home Automation… automated. Actions that can occur without human interaction, based on logic: taking actions based on meeting defined conditions and/or environmental or sensor device values going above/below thresholds, for example. And complex automations allow for a combination of numerous met conditions before an action is taken, and also different sets of actions that may be taken depending on which conditions are met or not, etc.

Google’s current suggestion for automations that don’t require voice input is to use IFTTT, which works for simplistic automations mostly based on a single condition or threshold. It’s also an extra link in the chain between the input and the device(s) that is/are part of the action(s). This is in contrast the Works with Nest API that allows direct bi-directional communication between another device or Home Automation hub and the Nest product.

I do appreciate having voice control over Nest products and the ability to query them. But I don’t use voice control that much in reality. So, what really bothers me is that with Google’s decision to shut down the Works with Nest API they simply direct developers to the Actions on Google Smart Home developer site.

Looking at that site, it appears that Google’s Smart Home Action’s API is only meant as an interface for the developer’s device(s) to be controlled by Google Assistant, and not as a way to request control of other devices linked to Google Assistant. Also, the “Works with Google Assistant” is not an API. It’s just a badge for products which have created Google Smart Home Actions which have been tested by Google and deemed worthy of being officially supported. So it is in no way a one-to-one replacement for the Works with Nest API.

So unless I’m missing something, Google Assistant’s Smart Home functionality is missing a few large pieces of what’s required to complete the Home Automation puzzle. As far as I can see, at the moment, as of August, I will no longer be able to set up automations that tell my Nest product to do certain things based on logic using a variety of sensors / devices in my home and other external conditions, nor will I be able to set up automations based on input from my Nest product.

This is why I agree 100% with The Verge’s assertion that Google’s changes risk making the smart home a little dumber.

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I don’t know if they are confused, they emphasize on voice. Their new slogan is “Helpful Home” not automated home, just sayin’ I agree with you point of view, but I don’t think automation is what Google is targeting or advertising.

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.

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