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Google to kill Dropcam, Nest Secure hardware next year

Owners of Dropcam security cameras and Nest Secure systems have been given an unwelcome deadline from Google: their smart home products will be shut off April 8 next year.

Google made the announcement Friday on the Google Nest Community site, where it said point blank that Dropcam and Dropcam Pro devices “will no longer work after that date,” the same going for Nest Secure systems. Neither will be accessible in the Nest app in a year’s time, and video camera recordings hosted in the cloud will be wiped as well.

Google spent $555m on Dropcam in 2014 before killing the product line the next year and giving free Nest cameras to Dropcam owners who wanted to switch. Google explained the move at the time as being due to the Dropcam backend not communicating properly with the newer Google systems. 

Nest Secure, billed as an all-in-one home security solution that included a digital door lock, NFC key fob, and window sensors, was released by Google in 2018 and discontinued in 2020. Google said at the time it intended to continue supporting Nest Secure, but as we noted then it didn’t provide an end-of-life date. Now it has. 

As an added bonus, Google said affected customers won’t have their Nest Aware subscriptions (the paid service associated with Nest hardware) automatically canceled, so they better set a reminder to kill that recurring payment if they don’t plan to upgrade.

Google also announced the end of support for Works With Nest, the web giant’s third-party integration tool for Nest gear. Future products are being transitioned to Works With Google Home, and “existing connections will continue to work with your Nest Account until September 29, 2023,” Google said. 

New kit’s free, if you let us peek

As was the case when it announced the end of Dropcam availability in 2015, Google has a customer appeasement plan in place that’ll do much the same by offering free hardware to affected users, though in this case the deal is a bit restrictive. 

“If you are a current Nest Aware subscriber, we will be offering you a Nest Cam (indoor, wired) on us,” Google said. Customers that don’t subscribe to Nest Aware are being offered a half-off coupon for the purchase of an indoor, wired Nest camera. 

As for Nest Secure customers, they’re being foisted onto security company ADT, of which Google bought a 6.6 percent stake for $450m in 2020. “We will give users an exclusive offer for a Self Setup System from ADT on us (up to $485 value) or $200 to use on the Google Store,” Google said. 

Google and ADT announced the Self Setup System late last month.

“Nest Aware is included in the ADT Monitoring subscription package,” a Google spokesperson told us. “During the setup process the customer will be asked to acknowledge the replacement of the subscription and the cancellation of the subscription they bought from Google.”

ADT’s announcement leaves off any mention of it recording camera streams for later playback, or smart notifications from things like face recognition or the sound of shattering glass. Those services appear to be exclusive to Google Nest Aware, meaning a separate subscription would be required.

We’ve asked ADT for clarification and Google responded on their behalf. ®