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Google Home app still can’t schedule Nest cameras, so it uses complex automation instead

1 month ago 55

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The Google Home app is slowly but surely getting better at handling Nest cameras, but some features are still missing, like the ability to schedule cameras. And, hilariously, Google had to work around that lack of support by setting up a complex automation when you port legacy Nest cameras to the Home app.

For a long time, Google Nest users could use the Nest app to schedule their cameras to turn off or on based on the time of day. For indoor cameras especially, this was useful for ensuring the camera was turned on only when it was actually needed, a welcome privacy tweak. But, for going on three years now, the Google Home app hasn’t gotten around to adding this functionality.

Whether it’s a new Nest Cam or a legacy model ported over, there’s no dedicated option to schedule when your camera is turned on or off.

Yet, if you port over an older Nest Cam, that schedule keeps working. How?

As it turns out, part of Google’s porting process includes creating an automation for the camera to keep that schedule working in the Home app. It’s not nearly as elegant, but you don’t really notice it as functionality is unchanged.

How the automation works is reasonably simple. Two automations are created. One to turn the camera on at a specific date or time, and the other to turn it off. This can get way more complex if you have more date and time conditions, but it gets the job done well enough.

Will Google ever add Nest Cam schedules to the Home app? At this point, I’m not hopeful. When I’ve asked Google about this functionality in the past, the company has pointed to this exact, inelegant method of mimicking a schedule. It’d be nice if Google restored support, but the fact that porting legacy cameras over creates these automation “recipes” just signals to me that a dedicated scheduling function is probably not in the pipeline.

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