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Alexa will continue to work with Nest (and that's a problem)



  An Amazon echo next to a Google Nest
Amazon / Google

Google discontinues Works with Nest, blocks access to third-party Nest products, and requires the use of Google Assistant. But Google has announced an exception: Alexa will continue to be able to control Nest hardware.

Google cuts Nest access for third parties.

  A home with
korisbo / Shutterstock

Recently, Google has announced that it is downing the Works with Nest program. When you work with Nest, other companies' products can control the nest. For example, your garage door opener can tell your thermostat to increase the heat. If a business wants some form of integration, it has to go to Works with Google Assistant.

This program does not allow direct control of Nest. Instead, you would set up routines to do the work. Another obvious problem was the change: the Works with Nest capabilities developed for Alexa would not work. And given Alexa's own language assistant, jumping to Works with Google Assistant is out of the question.

Alexa gets reparation

  A Nest app on the iPhone next to a FireTV.
Google / Amazon

Alexa is currently using Works With Nest to control the Nest hardware, and websites like The Verge have reported that the Alexa integration will no longer work on August 31, 2019. That's right – Alexa's current Works With Nest-based integration will continue this date.

According to a page on the Nest site discovered by Ars Technica – we're not sure if it was running all the time or Google published it later – this is not the case.

Google says it will work with Amazon to enable Alexa's control over nest hardware in the future. Google promises to complete the pre-shutdown transition, saying that Alexa will retain all current nest integrations.

Smarthomes turn into Walled Gardens

Google's collaboration with Amazon is good news for Alexa users. However, all others relying on Wink Hubs, IFTTT, Yonomi, Lutron, and others using Works With Nest continue to lose functionality. Smarthomes work best with open standards. They should be able to buy products from different companies and they should work together.

Alexa seems to have a special exception that other language assistants, services, and companies have no access to. If relations between Google and Amazon falter again, it could even jeopardize Alexa's special access to Nest.

By blocking access to Nest hardware for most businesses, Google may secure your walled garden data. Future language assistants (and current third-party options such as Mycroft) will begin with a disadvantage that may be incredibly difficult to overcome.

Even established device manufacturers, such as Lutron, have stated that the functions they provide under the old Nest program are impossible to support under the new Google Assistant program. If you buy smarthome devices in the future, you'll wonder if they fit into your smarthome ecosystem. If it does not, you may be looking for the Google device that can be used in your Google Home.


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