Google’s latest blog post finally gives a minimal public support timeline for all of its “Google Nest” smart home products. The company has committed to supporting all Google Nest products with “critical bug fixes and patches” for at least five years.
Inconsistent branding means it was difficult to capture Google’s definition of “Google Nest” products, but the company now has a support page that helpfully describes each model included. Today’s announcement applies to Nest Audio speakers, Nest Hub smart displays, Nest Thermostats, Nest Protect smoke detector, Nest cameras, Nest Wi-Fi, the discontinued Nest Secure alarm system, the Nest x Yale lock, and less obvious devices like the Google Smart home speakers (which were replaced by Nest Audio), Google Wi-Fi (replaced by Nest Wi-Fi), and the entire Chromecast line, including the new Google TV dongle.
Everything on this list could last more than five years, but a few notable products will soon reach the end of their guaranteed support timelines. The original Google Home smart speaker, which launched in 2016, will reach the end of its guaranteed life in November this year, while the Home Mini and the discontinued Home Max could be shut down as early as late next year. Dumb speakers can last for decades, so hopefully these products will get better than minimal support.
All of these old products could keep running by running similar software that is still maintained for current products, but a particular concern is the Nest Secure, Google’s first and only home security system. The product lasted from 2017 to 2020 and with its discontinuation, Google has exited the home security market. Google now has no commercial reason to continue developing the software, and the company said it doesn’t expect any new features in the future. With today’s announcement, we now know that the Nest Secure will continue to work and receive security updates until at least November 2022. The product relies on the Google Cloud to work, so I wouldn’t put money on it for much longer. .
Many Nest products are well past this five-year support period and are still working. Many of the Nest Thermostats are very old, and while a Google support page says the latest software update was released for most models in 2019, even the 2011 model still works. Nest Protects, the smoke detectors, have a hard self-destruct date programmed into it: seven years for the first model, released in 2013, and 10 years for the second-generation model released in 2015. This is apparently something of UL (Underwriter’s Labs) certification requirements of all carbon monoxide detectors.
Five years of support is a reasonable middle ground for Google. Currently, Pixel Android phones are supported for three years (which isn’t even at the top of the Android market anymore), while Chromebooks get updates for up to eight years.