Like with the $129 Nest Thermostat that launched last year, the Google Home app is needed to control the new Nest Doorbell and Cam lineup. The companion client will be updated with several camera features in the process.

To see all live video, owners will continue to tap the blue “Cameras” shortcut at the top of the Google Home app. This presents a scrollable feed of video that starts with the 3:4 aspect ratio Nest Doorbell stream. For devices running on battery power, percentage will be noted in the top-left corner. 

A new battery screen provides a time-based estimate with an “Automatic battery saver” that kicks in when there’s less than seven days of power remaining to restrict video recording settings. That ties into the three user-selectable “Battery usage” modes:

  • More events: Uses more battery life, with max video quality, longer event videos, and shorter time between events 
  • Default: Balances battery life and event recordings, with high quality video, medium event video length, and longer time between events
  • More battery life: Extends battery life, with high quality video, shorter event videos, and longer time between events

When viewing a particular camera feed, swiping right from the “Live” view takes you to a new “History” tab with a “Sightline 2.0” timeline for browsing through what was recorded.

Meanwhile, there’s the recently revamped “More” tab with settings to turn a camera on/off, start battery saver, enter Quiet Time, play canned Responses, and call Emergency services if you have Nest Aware

You can now set up Activity Zones to determine what area a Nest Cam focuses on in Google Home — instead of the Nest app, as well as enable recording with Home & Away Routines. Elsewhere in the app, you have the “Feed” to see priority events, while a total “Home history” from all your cameras is available. 

Another big upgrade sees all “seen” notifications for people, animals, and vehicles get directly sent from Google Home.

The Home app requires you migrate away from a Nest account to Google’s systems, which results in better security through 2-step verification.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: