Philips Hue is dropping support for Google's Works with Nest program on November 17th, 2020. In a recent blog post, the company warns that "integration with Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam and Nest Protect will be discontinued" starting this date. Philips is also notifying users about this development through the Philips Hue app.
However, "this will only be temporary" as Google is moving existing Works with Nest features to the Google Home App. "Stay tuned as we continue working closely with Google to bring new and improved lighting features for your devices," Philips said.
Although the company seems highly hopeful, it's unclear if Google will replicate all existing Works with Nest features into the new program. And even if it does, there's no timeline yet on the launch of the replacement program.
Philips Hue will drop Works with Nest integration
Works with Nest is essentially a set of connections and controls that link third-party smart devices with Google's Nest products. The program has been around since 2014. However, as another example of its complicated relationship with product branding, the company announced in May last year that it would replace the Works with Nest program with a new, "Works with Hey Google" program.
Google then stopped allowing new integrations with Nest products in August 2019. But the company said existing Works with Nest connections will continue to work until it replicates its features as well as the set of connections and controls in the new program. And while the new program has yet to arrive, Philips has now pulled the plug from its side.
Starting later this month, your Philips Hue lights will no longer work in integration with Nest smart speakers and displays. You can, however, still gain access to features like Home and Away Routines if you link your Philips Hue account to the Google Home app. Additionally, connecting your bulbs to Google Assistant will also allow you to control them through Nest smart speakers and displays.
That's essentially what Google's "Works with Hey Google" program is all about. Manufacturers will require to add Google Assistant support to their devices for them to work in integration with Nest devices. Without Works with Nest integration, third-party devices will have far less access to the data captured by Nest products.
Google says it is making this move to offer better privacy to Nest users. Privacy has always a major concern in the smart home scene. So this move from Google is ostensibly a good one for consumers. However, this may also result in fewer cross-compatible smart home gadgets in the future.
A smart home is not really "smart" if all kinds of sensors and devices can't work together to perform automation. Hopefully, Google will offer enough reasons for developers to port their products into the Works with Hey Google program.