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Canary brings back Night Mode and longer video recordings for free users

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The home camera company is responding to bait and switch accusations

Canary today published a blog post responding to criticisms the company has faced over the last month from users who have accused Canary of pulling a bait and switch. In late September, the maker of cloud-connected home security cameras announced changes to its free service that resulted in shorter video previews of 10 seconds and a complete removal of Night Mode, which had previously allowed all Canary customers to schedule their device to record movements while they were asleep at home. With the change, both Night Mode and “full-length” videos were reserved exclusively for paying monthly subscribers. That angered buyers of the Canary and Canary Flex devices, each of which costs over $100.

But now, Canary is reversing some of those changes. Night Mode is again coming back for free/basic plan users. That will happen sometime in early December. But effective immediately, video previews of movement events are being lengthened to 30 seconds. That provides a much better sense of what’s going on at home than the 10-second snippets that Canary switched its basic plan customers over to last month.

You’ll still need to get the monthly “Membership” plan for some features like a 30-day timeline of video recordings, voice chat, sharing recorded clips, customizable modes, unlimited downloads and the Canary web app.

“We promise to our customers that we will continue to invest in both our basic plan and our Membership plan,” said CEO Adam Sager. “And if you want to try out Membership, you should have received a coupon code in your email to try out Membership for free for 3 months.” Subscribers will also get new “advanced AI features” in the coming months, according to Sager. “We are simplifying pricing for Canary Membership, which will become effective soon. This change will allow for up to 5 devices per location for just $9.99/month or $99/year.”

Canary initially said that its planned changes to the free tier were necessary to address rising cloud storage costs that the company said were due to the sheer number of unwatched recorded videos.