After a long wait, Google’s second-gen Nest Doorbell (Wired) is finally here. And with it comes the announcement of a redesigned Google Home app, which places a greater emphasis on camera feeds, routines, and automation. Additionally, Google Home will come to Wear OS and your browser in the coming weeks.
Nest Doorbell (Wired) Gen 2
Shortly after launching the Nest Doorbell (Battery) in late 2021, Google told us that a wired version would arrive in 2022. Well, we’re closing in on the end of the year, but Google kept its promise. The second-gen Nest Doorbell (Wired) is now available for $180.
For me, the headlining feature of this doorbell is 24/7 continuous recording. As you may remember, the Nest Doorbell (Battery) doesn’t support continuous recording because of thermal limitations—it doesn’t like to get too hot or too cold. But this wired doorbell is happy to run all day, which is awesome.
Unfortunately, you need a Nest Aware Plus subscription for continuous recording. Without this subscription, your clips can only be five minutes long.
But of course, the Nest Doorbell (Wired) isn’t just a one-trick pony. It can store up to an hour of footage locally just in case you Wi-Fi goes out, and it has a built-in speaker for two-way audio. The Nest Doorbell (Wired) also supports facial, pet, and package recognition, and it offers Activity Zones to alert you when movement is detected in a select area of the camera feed.
And now, you can set up Household Routines with the Nest Doorbell. You can program a smart light to turn on when the doorbell is pressed, for example. (Google hasn’t confirmed if Household Routines works in conjunction with Activity Zones, facial recognition, or other advanced features).
The Nest Doorbell (Wired) is available today for $180. It can replace your mechanical doorbell chime, or it can use a Nest Mini speaker in place of a chime. Bear in mind that the Nest Doorbell’s best features are hidden behind a Nest Aware Plus subscription.
The Redesigned, Matter-Ready Google Home
The Google Home app is about to get a much-needed redesign. Available to Public Preview users in the coming weeks, this redesign places a huge emphasis on live camera feeds. It’s also Matter-ready, and in 2023, it will support a full script editor for greater control over routines.
As explained by Google, the redesigned Home app offers a “Nest camera controller.” This gives you large camera previews across the app, but it also lets you quickly scrub through clips (and find important moments that are highlighted by AI). The Google Home app will also organize videos by their subjects—people, packages, animals, vehicles, and so on.
There’s also a new “Automations” tab in the Google Home app. Finally, Google is putting device automation front and center, encouraging users (and Google developers, hopefully) to really make the most of smart homes.
And for advanced users, Google will launch a “script editor” in 2023. This tool lets you build, validate, and activate robust routines for your smart home. We’re just not 100% sure how it works. Either way, Google says that the script editor unlocks “100 new features and capabilities,” and smart home fanatics will surely appreciate the extra control.
Customizable “Spaces” will also arrive for the Google Home app in 2023. Here’s the idea; instead of searching Google Home from head to toe just to find one device, you can add devices to select “Spaces” that are easy to find an access. If you use a bunch of smart plugs and lights in your entertainment center, for example, you can toss them in a custom “Space” for easy access.
And, as promised, Google Home is coming to Wear OS. The wearable app will arrive in the “coming weeks,” probably when the Pixel Watch ships in mid or late October. Interestingly, Google also says that it’ll launch a browser-based version of Google Home, though this web interface seems to only offer camera controls.