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Nest and Google are merging – Here’s what it means for your smart devices

When you invest in a service and love how it works, it can be worrisome when there’s a new owner. That’s the dilemma facing customers of the smart home service Nest now that the company is merging with Google.

Google is making a pitch for current Nest users to create a Google Nest account. But some customers may prefer to stay put for now.

If you’re a Nest user, what does the merger mean for you? We’ll also look at what new Google Nest customers will get.

Nest users urged to hang on

In May, Google announced that it was integrating Nest, a company it has owned for years, into the Google brand. The result is Google Nest.

A major deadline is looming for consumers who just love Nest and third-party Works With Nest devices, such as smart thermostats or security cameras. On Aug. 31, Nest users will no longer be able to make new Works With Nest connections or create a new Nest account.

Google’s plan is to have Nest account holders migrate to the new Google Nest service. However, it will not stop supporting Nest or cut existing Works With Nest connections, as it first threatened.

So what happens to Nest users who do not migrate to Google Nest? Currently, not much.

The main penalty is that while they will be getting security updates for their devices, Nest users will not be able to access any new features that Google Nest may develop nor access its enhanced security. That may be a pro for some Nest users until they find out that all of their Works With Nest connections will be severed once they migrate to a Google account.

Google is attempting to create a one-stop smart home hub. Through its Works With Google Assistant, the company claims it will eventually provide all the functions Works With Nest third-party devices currently have. Google is actively trying to get developers to work with Works With Google Assistant.

Not surprisingly, companies that currently partner with Works With Nest are encouraging users not to switch over to Google.

Don’t leave the Nest yet

At this point, if you are a Nest user it makes sense not to make the switch yet. Right now, Nest customers use Amazon’s Alexa to control Nest products. Smart lights from Philips Hue and Lifx can turn on when your Nest Thermostat senses you’re home.

Abode’s security system can tell your Nest Cam to start recording if it senses motion. IFTTT, which enables all your devices to talk to each other, also is a Works with Nest partner.

If Nest customers migrate to Google now, they will lose access to all of these devices. They’ll have to wait to see if Works With Google Assistant will partner with Works With Nest developers or the company creates its own versions of the products.

In short, if Nest users move to Google now, many of their Works With Nest devices will be obsolete. On the other hand, devices already working with Google will not be affected by the switch. 

By not cutting off access to Works With Nest devices and allowing Nest users to keep their accounts, Google may be trying to create some goodwill. Goodwill not just with consumers but also with Works With Nest developers.

It’s likely that at some point Google will say enough is enough, but the company will probably wait until Nest customers can migrate seamlessly to Google Nest.

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