It’s really not clear what the future of Google’s home security plan is. We don’t know of any upcoming replacement hardware, and Google just had its big hardware event for the year. The company signed a $450 million deal with the home monitoring firm ADT in August; the partnership “will combine Nest’s award-winning hardware and services, powered by Google’s machine-learning technology, with ADT’s installation, service and professional monitoring.” Hardware like Nest Secure seemed like a big part of that deal, since the combo of a keypad and sensors is the foundation of a home monitoring system like ADT’s. Nest Secure users could actually sign up for monitoring from ADT’s competition, Brinks Home Security, using the Nest hardware.
It sort of sounds like the ADT deal means Google will have to make a new keypad, hub, and sensor system for ADT to use, but we can’t be sure. We tried asking Google about all this a few days ago when we got a tip that the Nest Secure was listed as “no longer available” (thanks, Bill!) but the company wouldn’t answer. Included in our email were questions about what the future looks like for existing Nest Secure users, like if they’ll ever be able to buy more sensors or replacement sensors for their existing setups (these have been out of stock for a while now) or how much longer the Nest Secure will be supported for. Even if Google doesn’t immediately turn off the software support, a system with no replacement parts can only die a slow death.
We’ve been harping on this for a while now, but Google’s continual product shutdowns damage its brand and make it hard to trust the company to be a good steward of new products. This is especially true of products like Nest Secure, Google Stadia, and Nest Audio/Google Home, which require investing money in an ecosystem and functionality that might not be around for as long as you would hope. Nest Secure owners have now invested hundreds of dollars in a closed ecosystem with currently irreplaceable hardware and an unclear software support future.
This is fresh off the company killing the “Works with Nest” hardware ecosystem, resulting in removed or reduced functionality of Nest Thermostats, smoke detectors, and more. The company also blew up the Google Home/Nest Audio music ecosystem when it shut down Google Play Music, leaving users with a worse music product and locking some people out of the service completely. Now, when Google pushes the public to buy games on Google Stadia or invest in whatever this ADT thing is, will anyone trust Google to keep the services running?