Google’s adding a new garage door detection feature to its Nest security cameras that will alert you if your garage door has been left open. The company is also bringing the first-gen Google Nest Outdoor Cam to the Google Home app and finally allowing Nest Cam users to create custom clips in the Google Home app.
These new features are part of the Google Home app’s public preview and are rolling out this week. Adina Roth, product manager of Google Home & Nest, announced the updates in a blog post on Wednesday.
According to Roth, the garage door detection feature can detect and alert you when the door is closed, opened, or left open. “We’ve expanded our advanced AI powered image detection and improved built-in on device intelligence to detect if your garage door has been left open,” she said. Google Nest cameras currently have intelligent alerts that leverage the same tech to identify people, animals, vehicles, and packages (for its doorbell cameras).
You should be able to set how long the door is left open before an alert is sent in the Google Home app, and the app will send a snapshot of the door with the alert, as well as a video recording when the door opens or closes.
There are no additional sensors or hardware required, but you will need a Nest Aware subscription (starting at $8 a month) and a Nest Cam (indoor, wired, 2nd gen) or a Nest Cam (battery), which has to be wired for power to work with the feature.
The new feature is not compatible with the first-gen Nest Cam Indoor or the first-gen Nest Cam Outdoor, which both now work in the Google Home app.
Of course, the camera won’t be able to close the door for you — for that, you’ll have to get out of bed or invest in a smart garage door controller (we have some suggestions here for ones that aren’t called MyQ). The feature is rolling out this week, and Google has a guide to setting it up here.
Meanwhile, the slow, inexorable death of the Nest app continues as Google announces the next camera to jump ship to Google Home while retaining all its features. The first-gen Nest Outdoor Cam (the white one that is wired) is now supported in the Google Home app, alongside the first-gen Nest Indoor Cam (the black one that retained a lot of the Dropcam look).
If you choose to move your camera over to the Google Home app, you’ll be able to view recorded clips as well as see a full history from the camera, an event list, and timeline views. You can also adjust the camera’s settings in the Home app. This means you can tie its features into smart home automations in Google Home, including using camera events as triggers for automation.
For now, you can still send it back to the Nest app if you decide you don’t like the new experience. But you can’t have it both ways.
This camera-by-camera rollout has been frustrating for Nest users, who still have to toggle between two apps if they have older Nest cameras and use the Google Home app, if they want to do anything more than see the live stream. They’re also still waiting on support for the Nest Cam IQ (indoor and outdoor), the Nest Hello doorbell, and the camera inside the Nest Hub Max. There’s still no news about the Nest Protect smoke alarm, which doesn’t even show up in the Google Home app; at least you can view live streams from all the Nest cams in the Home app, if nothing else.
But there is other good news for Nest Cam users. Google is adding the ability to download custom-length clips from your video history, a feature you used to only get in the Nest app. You can now create clips from existing events and from any point on your timeline (if you pay for 24/7 continuous recording).
Roth explained that you’ll be able to “trim an existing event video clip by simply picking a start time and selecting the clip length from a set of options,” including full event, 30 seconds, and one minute.
Roth also confirmed Google is working on adding event and timeline history to Google Home for the web, along with the ability to download clips (currently, you can only view live feeds). But she didn’t provide any details on when this would arrive.
Finally, the news everyone has been waiting for: Nest doorbell holiday themes will return on December 1st.