The Nest Cam IQ will soon transform into a Google Assistant

Nest Cam IQ sitting on a desk next to car keys and books

Recently, Google added the Home Mini and Home Max to its Google Home lineup, but you don’t need to shell out $49, $399, or $129 to take advantage of Google Assistant — provided you have a $299 Nest Cam IQ. On Wednesday, February 21, Nest updated the security camera so you can ask it questions starting with “OK, Google.”

This update comes on the heels of Google’s recent announcement that Nest is joining its hardware team. When Google bought the company in 2014, Nest remained a separate entity under the Alphabet umbrella. The move was aimed at making “Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware,”  Rick Osterloh, the head of Google’s hardware division, wrote in a blog post. As of now, the update will only affect the indoor version of the Nest Cam IQ, not the outdoor version of Dropcams. (Nest said it’s protecting your privacy and safety by not offering Google Assistant on the outdoor version. You definitely don’t want the nightmarish neighbor children being able to turn your lights on and off from your porch.)

The update takes advantage of the Cam’s built-in speaker and microphone. While you’ll be able to control your smart-home devices, get weather updates, and ask it Google-able questions, the camera can’t play music or podcasts. You can ask it to cast audio on compatible speakers, though. The Cam IQ also won’t let you make or receive phone calls.

To turn on the Google Assistant feature, you need to open your Nest app, tap your product > Settings  > Add Google Assistant. In that same place, you can temporarily stop the feature or disable it altogether.

In addition, Nest is adding a $5 per month Nest Aware subscription, which gives users five days of continuous recording. Before, users could only purchase $10 and $30 plans for 10 and 30 days’ worth of video, respectively. Those that have Nest Aware will also be able to set “person alerts” in Activity Zones to recognize the difference between humans and other moving objects, so you receive fewer unimportant motion alerts.

While it’s nice that the Nest Cam IQ is getting this update, it doesn’t change the fact that you can get a camera like the Arlo Q for $100 less and get seven days of free cloud storage. Then you can get a couple of Google Home Minis and at least be able to listen to some podcasts.

Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Smart Home

How to stream music from Google Home to Bluetooth speakers or headphones

Want to stream music on Google Home, but listen to it through a different speaker or a pair of headphones? Here's how to play streaming music on Google Home through Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Google Assistant adds smart home bells and whistles in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google Assistant is introducing a bunch of new smart home features, including the ability to reply to broadcast messages, create and use cookbooks, and access enhanced storybook content for kids.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
News

Xfinity indoor/outdoor camera zooms in on Grinch’s faces and license plates

Comcast's Xfinity Home security cameras can help the police catch Grinches who steal delivery packages from your home. The cameras use artificial intelligence to analyze moving objects and zoom in on faces at your door and license plates.
Smart Home

Airbnb hosts are offering free rooms to those displaced by California wildfires

Several thousand Airbnb hosts in California are opening their homes to help those displaced by the devastating wildfires in the state. Free accommodation is being offered to those affected through November 29.
Smart Home

Here's our comparison of the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View

Looking for the right smart display? We're comparing the Lenovo Smart Display vs. JBL Link View, two excellent smart displays that are made for different audiences. Here's what you need to know about both displays and what they do.
Deals

Shop early Black Friday deals on Philips Hue products from Amazon, today only

Avoid the Black Friday hassle and shop great online deals. Amazon is offering huge discounts on refurbished Philips Hue smart lighting products to help light your home. For today only, you can grab a range of smart home tech from Amazon.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Smart Home

New wireless power kit puts a charge into your smart speakers via infrared light

Wireless power technology is coming fast, and Wi-Charge is leading the innovative trend with a new wireless power kit that can transform Amazon and Google smart speakers into fully functional, wire-free devices.
Smart Home

Save Smart: The Best Black Friday Smart Home Deals

The number of Black Friday sales can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best bang-for-your-buck deals you'll find this year on the most popular smart home products on the market.