In May 2019, Google announced an abrupt end to Nest’s Work with Nest program. Google sited security and privacy as the cause for the change. At the time, the company promised a robust successor program called Works with the Google Assistant. Google has failed to deliver on that promise. Works with the Google Assistant…with Hey Google…with Google Home—call it whatever they will, it’s simply not there yet. Three years later, with a few exceptions for Nest devices, you still can’t use Google Home to control one product based on the status of another. That’s one of the most fundamental capabilities of a smart home.
When Google announced the program’s fate, it also announced that users would need to migrate Nest accounts to Google accounts. Three years later, Google has yet to integrate all of its Nest thermostat and camera features into Google Home. This leaves customers with a confusing mess. The Nest app manages all features of some Nest devices (but not all Nest devices) and the Google Home app manages the other Nest devices.
Google’s ecosystem of badged Works with (the) Google Assistant/Hey Google/Google Home devices is vast, but it’s a distant third behind Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit in terms of capability. With the exception of routines based on Nest’s home/away status, Google Home routines are still limited to time, solar, voice, and personal alarm triggers. You still can’t use a motion sensor to turn on lights using Google Home.
Three years. It’s been three years. When is Google going to step up its smart home game? Where are the new routine conditions and triggers discussed back in Google’s awkward, remote Smart Home keynote a year into COVID? When are Nest device features going to be configurable in Google Home? Is this stuff on hold while all hands work on Matter? Maybe they’re relegating those capabilities to Matter. Whatever the reason, Google has failed to sufficiently deliver on its post-Works with Nest promise.