Google’s goal of making a “helpful home” rather than a “smart home” seems to be hitting a few bumps along the road to success. Nest owners are finally being asked to merge their Nest and Google accounts for greater simplicity, but that move appears to be causing a number of headaches for users. A little over a week ago we saw evidence that the migration from Nest to Google accounts was imminent, and now the process has officially begun.
Google has put together a nice little video detailing what needs to be done, which you can find at the bottom of this article.
While this may be a simple process for many folks, there are still plenty of other Nest users who will be finding themselves cursing themselves for taking the bait and pressing that shiny blue button.
In particular, power users who are fond of the If This Then That (IFTTT) service will be most alarmed to find out that migrating their Works With Nest profile over to their Google profile is going to break several (if not all) recipes that they’ve created on IFTTT.
First-time users shouldn’t have any issues, but it’s still likely that some IFTTT recipes won’t work going forward.
IFTTT has been around for a long time and has cemented itself as the de facto way to link smart gadgets together, even when the manufacturers of said smart gadgets don’t always play nice with each other.
Why is Google doing this? The transition from ‘Works With Nest’ to just using a Google account for integration was designed to make things more simple, and it’s likely that it will be, when all is said and done. Transition periods aren’t always easy though, especially not when you’re as big and prominent as Nest and have hooks into a significant chunk of the smart home market.
Google cites that users can expect greater security when using a Google account over an existing Nest account but, in some ways, that doesn’t seem to align with what we’ve experienced. The so-called ‘hacking’ incident really doesn’t fit in with the proper description of “hacking” and has nothing to do with any actual security Nest did or did not have in place.
This was a simple case of the person likely not using a secure password (or using the same password across multiple sites) rather than an infiltration of Nest’s systems.
2-Factor authentication already exists on Nest accounts, and it’s been proven that Google’s ‘suspicious activity detection’ can be a bane to users rather than a boon to security in some cases.
My father’s Google account, for instance, was locked out for several weeks thanks to a false-positive on Google’s part and it was a tremendous headache to try to get the account unlocked (or even talk to a real human being to get help).
Will this be a positive move for Nest users, who already enjoy a robust ecosystem of products and connected services? Time will tell, but it’s looking somewhat suspect at the current moment.