Google’s latest blog post finally gives a minimum 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 that it has been tough to pin down Google’s definition of “Google Nest” products, but the company now has a support page that helpfully spells out every included model. Today’s announcement applies to the 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 Home smart 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.
Anything on this list could last longer than five years, but a few notable products will be hitting the end of their guaranteed support timelines soon. The original Google Home smart speaker, which launched in 2016, will hit the end of its guaranteed life in November of 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 bare-minimum support.
All these old products could keep on trucking by running similar software still being maintained for current products, but of 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 left the home security market. Google now has no commercial reason to continue to develop the software, and the company said to not expect any new features going forward. With today’s announcement, we now know that the Nest Secure will continue to work and get security updates until at least November 2022. The product relies on the Google Cloud to work, so I would not put money on it lasting much longer than that.
Lots of Nest products are well over this five-year support window and still work. Many of the Nest Thermostats are very old, and while a Google support page says the last software update for most models was released in 2019, even the 2011 model still works. Nest Protects, the smoke detectors, have a hard self-destruct date programmed into them—seven years for the first model, released in 2013, and 10 years for the second-gen model released in 2015. This is apparently something UL (Underwriter’s Labs) certification demands of all carbon monoxide alarms.
Five years of support is pretty middle-of-the-road for Google. Currently, Pixel Android phones are supported for three years (which is not even at the top of the Android market anymore), while Chromebooks get up to eight years of updates.