Google is finally giving its Nest smart home cameras one home on the web. In a blog post published today, Google announced the rollout of its long-promised Google Home web view. You should now be able to view all your Nest cameras and doorbells on home.google.com. If it’s not there for you yet, Google says it will be by next week. The ability to start a Google Home Routine when your door unlocks, a light is turned off, or a doorbell is pressed is also showing up for some users (us included).
Here’s the list of supported cameras for the web view:
- Nest Cam (battery) and Nest Cam (wired)
- Nest Cam with floodlight (wired)
- Nest Doorbell (battery)
- Nest Doorbell (wired) aka Nest Hello
- Nest Doorbell (wired, second-gen)
- Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor
- Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
Last year, Rishi Chandra, the general manager of Google Nest, promised a desktop view would be coming in 2022 and has just barely been squeaked in. Many smart security cameras offer this feature — which gives you an easy way to see all your cameras on a larger screen.
Nest did too until it launched its latest cameras last year, which didn’t work on the home.nest.com webpage. Now, with the new home.google.com URL, Nest users can log in and see all their cameras — old Nest cams and new Nest cams alike.
Google says the new page (which isn’t live for us yet) will let you check in on live views in full screen, view a single stream or multiple, zoom in to see more details, and view camera status and more, all from a web browser. You can also turn cameras on or off from the web view, wake up battery cameras when they are inactive, and view camera status.
The one thing missing from this list is recorded video. It sounds like you will still need to use the Google Home app for the new cameras and the Nest app for the old cameras if you want to watch a recorded event.
To check it out, go to home.google.com on your computer and sign in with the same Google account you use in the Google Home app.
Google Home’s new “starters” for Routines start arriving
However, some changes are already appearing. For example, I can now use the state of some smart devices to trigger a Routine in my Google Home app. These include turning a light on or off, locking or unlocking a door, pressing a video doorbell, or starting or stopping a robot vacuum.
These “starters,” as Google calls them, work with Google’s Household Routines and can be set to trigger actions in your home, such as changing the state of other smart devices (more on that below).
According to Google, the full list of new starters that will be rolling out include:
- Turn on or off a device (such as a smart light, smart plug, or TV)
- When a motion sensor detects motion
- When a thermostat mode changes
- When you lock a smart lock
- When you arm a security system
- When you start or stop a device (such as a robot vacuum)
- When someone presses your doorbell
- When you play, pause or stop media
- When you change media volume
- When you change media input selection
These are in addition to the current options, which include starting a Routine with your voice or at a specific time like sunrise or sunset.
The new starters have appeared in my Google Home app, and I now have the option of 15 new device categories I can select from to trigger Routines: cameras, curtains, dishwashers, (smart) displays, doorbells, grills, lights, locks, mops, outlets, security systems, sensors (motion only), speakers, sprinklers, switches, thermostats, TVs, and vacuums.
There are also new actions for Routines. Previously, you could turn on and off smart devices (such as lights), adjust the temperature of a thermostat, run a Scene, lock a door, or arm a security system.
Now, you can also schedule your cameras to turn on or off, adjust the thermostat mode (from cool to heat or auto), start or stop a smart device (such as a robot vacuum), play media, and adjust media volume and media input selection. Additionally, you can now use time-based conditions for the Routine — such as “start this routine at 7AM but only on weekdays.”
While these may seem like incremental improvements, they are features that have been sorely lacking from the Google Home platform. Routines and automations are what make the smart home actually smart. Triggering a chain of actions with just one action is useful, time-saving, and pretty fun.
These new starters should mean you can set up a Routine that turns your lights on, starts your music, and disarms your security system when you unlock your front door. Or when you walk past a motion sensor in a hallway, the lights can turn on and the thermostat adjust based on the time of day. It’s a bit disappointing that contact sensors (used on doors and windows, primarily) aren’t part of this first rollout. But overall, this sets up the Google Home platform to be a much more robust option to run your smart home on.