Philips Hue loses its Nest integration next week, and Google Home still isn’t ready
Philips Hue is undoubtedly the market leader when it comes to smart lighting, but it’s about to lose its compatibility with the outgoing Works With Nest protocol, as soon as next week. It’s been over a year since Google first announced it would be sunsetting the Nest app and closing Works with Nest, in favour of the Google Home ecosystem. From the outset, it has been handled badly, with users forced to choose between their existing integrations, or migrate their account to Google Home, which wasn’t, and indeed isn’t, ready to replace it. If you’re not familiar, a good example is the fact that Nest Protect devices still don’t work with Google Home properly, though Google has said that this is imminent (better late than never, eh), and some users are finally seeing devices showing up in their dashboard.
Meanwhile, Phillips has had integrations with both Nest and Google Home since day one and has preserved the latter for those that aren’t ready to migrate to an incomplete alternative. The company has posted an announcement on its blog, explaining:
Google is transitioning its ‘Works with Nest’ programme to the ‘Works with Hey Google’ programme. Related to this, Philips Hue integration with Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam and Nest Protect will be discontinued from November 17, 2020.
This will only be temporary, as Google is building existing Works with Nest features into the Google Home app. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The use of the phrase “only temporary” doesn’t bring much optimism, given that, as discussed, these things have been “only temporary” since May 2019. Although Google is finally moving forward with the type of functionality that Nest had, such as Home/Away routines, at present, many of the interactions between Hue and Nest, such as being able to flash the lights if smoke is detected, will be lost, and there’s no way of knowing if the Google Home API will ever be updated enough for full feature parity – there’s currently no logic engine (ie IF/THEN/AND/OR/ELSE routines).
In the short-to-medium term, therefore, the only option is to migrate your Phillips Hue bulbs over to Google Home and keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, you can recreate some of those lost routines with an ancillary service like IFTTT, Home Assistant or an open-source Smart Home hub such as Homey. The sad fact is that we shouldn’t be surprised. Google’s track record of launching services that aren’t ready at the expense of ones that were is stellar – Google Play Music, Google Reader, Google Hangouts are just three examples, and with so much to do in order to bring Google Home into line with its competitors, it’s all another case of history repeating. Nest Pas?