It looks like it's going to get a little more difficult before it gets easier. Ever since Google bought the company in 2014, the Nest product line has continued to grow and expand but 2019 has begun to muddy the waters for the Nest brand. A few months ago, Google announced that it would be adding its name to Nest and moving over its Google Home products to the Nest brand, now known as Google Nest. Sounds fine and dandy, and even Nest.com was announced to be moving to the Google Store. So far so good, but any transition like this is never an easy move, and the confusion for consumers is only about to begin.
Most of Nest's products are clearly branded, but the confusion comes with the former Google Home branded devices and the fact that some are stuff branded 'Google Home', while some are 'Google Nest', and still others remain just 'Nest'. A recent Google Home app update to version 2.13 is also pretty typical of Google, as it has no changelog for the update, meaning that users have no idea why the app is updating or what the new changes are going to bring.
Thankfully the folks over at Android Police took apart the application itself and looked at the changed code and what they found is definitely interesting. This new app version appears to support the Nest account transition that Google has been speaking of for a while, and with that might come a bit of a headache for users who share their Nest devices with other folks in the house. For a little background, the current Nest app allows you to share all of your Nest devices with other Nest accounts. This is designed to facilitate the use of smart devices for people in the same house (that don't share a single account), and even provide access to other folks who might live outside the home on a temporary basis.
If you're using linked devices you'll need to make sure the registered owner of the device is the one who migrates the devices. We've seen issues in the past with Nest devices that have been tied to other accounts and didn't get properly unlinked, so there's likely going to be a few situations where users experience difficulties in this process. It also looks like you'll need to make sure that 'Works With Nest' products are unlinked before making the migration process, as Google is simultaneously working on deprecating that API in favor of moving everything over to Google Assistant.
As things continue to move toward Google and away from the Nest brand by itself, it's a wonder if the Nest app might be the next casualty. Google has continued to migrate more and more services to the Google Home app, again despite rebranding things as Nest or Google Nest and getting rid of certain other Google Home names in the process, and the move to Google Assistant from Works With Nest also makes us wonder what they're planning for the future.
It's said that Google is moving forward with the account migration piece in the near future because of security concerns over Nest accounts but, given that the incidents that took place in the public square don't actually fit in with the definition of "hacking", it's not likely that a Google account would have made a difference in those situations. As with any online service, especially one that's linked to as many things as a Nest or Google account, we implore all readers to enable two-factor authentication immediately, if you aren't already using it.
Lastly, this Google Home app update seems to be readying the interface for using Internet Radio instead of a streaming service like Google Play Music, Spotify, or Pandora as the default music player on devices. This seems like an excellent addition given that Google Assistant Routines can play a huge part in many folks' morning routines and daily lives.