> No. The Actions on Google Smart Home platform does not provide open API access to Nest devices, so it cannot be used to access and control Nest devices. Instead, managing and controlling Google Home, Nest, and thousands of third-party smart home devices is done through the Google Home app and the Google Assistant.
Wow, just wow. The entire non-Google Nest ecosystem evaporates overnight.
I lived through the Twitter ecosystem collapse and now I'm a VC I worry about investing in startups that are built on any large ecosystem where there isn't an alignment of clear economic interest.
Google of all people doing this just made it tougher for everyone else to maintain confidence in large vendor platforms.
* Sovereign from Mass Effect on using someone else's technology:
"Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays, our technology. By using it, your society develops along the paths we desire. We impose order on the chaos of organic evolution. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it." Strangely, it seems to describe recent (2012/2013) situation with API of Twitter perfectly.
Twitter did that twice already, but it's a lesson people have to learn and relearn repeatedly: this is what happens when you build a business entirely around someone else's platform.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10427530
Not me, though - I'm in the middle of some calibrations right now.
"The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it." - Frank Herbert, Dune
Not complaining, though, since [heresy incoming] they seem to have said "what if we took B5's setting but tweaked it to make it better" and then did it.
What a godamn waste.
Highly recommend the trilogy! Great story, amazing characters, pretty great gameplay (especially after #1), and overall an immersive journey. I wasn't bothered at all by the ending, personally.
In Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey", the alient Monoliths influenced human evolution and later decided to terminate the human race instead.
In Fredrick Pohl's Heechee series, humans stumble upon abandoned alien technology and use it without understanding how it works.
Money now (gambling investors?), worry later.
The more typical case is this, where you get to spend your time and money doing real-world R&D and discovery of what works for them, for free.
If you're going to dance with a vampire, don't be surprised when it bites you.
You can also spread your footprint. As just an easy-to-discuss example, Facebook and Twitter develop for many different someone else's platforms, by supporting multiple browsers [who in turn support multiple OSs], multiple mobile platforms, etc.
Proprietary platforms lure developers to their stack by making development easy. Learning an open source is typically more difficult, but the reward is greater freedom. Believing you're forced to build on proprietary technology is a fallacy.
And you will always be relying on someone else's proprietary tech - whether it's laptops or power stations or cloud infra. The trick is deciding then to outsource and when to build your own.
It's in the long term interest of any business not to rely on the goodwill of some other business. This goes for Microsoft as much as for Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.
Mobile and desktop both have more risks than the web, but they also have vastly more dependency on their ecosystems.
But isn't that the height of specialization? What does a platform mean anyways if its only used for one thing and not by others?
It it somewhat unfortunate that things like this make it abundantly clear that such a reality is not possible.
History really repeats itself in this regard. First we get ourselves in a tight situation with lots of closed platforms, which is bad for everyone. Then someone comes along, spouting a new philosophy of openness (Stallman comes to mind). The philosophy takes hold and open technology flourishes for a while.
But then a huge corporation appears, offering to contribute to this new abundant ecosystem with great new things. By now, people are too relaxed and optimistic, so they readily accept this. Yet, little by little, the corporation exploits this, seizing more and more control, until we get right back where we started.
For the rest of their business' life, Google APIs will be met with skepticism about their long-term prospects. That sucks, because it doesn't seem good for anyone. Not good for Google. Not good for their customers. Not good for 3rd party developers.
The divocring of incentives at google are at fault. The PMs aren't incentivied to do what is best for google, as it conflict with what is best for the PMs' families, college funds, mortgages, and health care. Hence, they do what is best for them at the expense of google.
Makes me sad to say it as someone who has often defended Google in the past, but I can't on this.
That's a way bigger problem than relying on an API or building some app in garden.
Google: Hold my Kombucha!
You misspelled Sauron.
One app to rule them all, One app to find them, One app to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
Whilst they are killing it off, they have a transition.
However, as far as timelines go - August 2019 kill off date for the NEST API is brutal and not exactly the grace period users of connected devices/software will appreciate or in many a cases with tech designed for non-technical people - know nothing until suddenly in August find what was working yesterday is now not working.
Be interesting to get the perspective of the Assistant API for NEST interaction over the current NEST API. Any functionality that is now no-longer an option and show-stopper? Any improvements?
Still, they could of done what they did with Map's and monerterised the API. Not that there is nothing stopping them doing that with the Assistant API. Which with some businesses has become the norm.
Maybe API's need some sort of Long Term Support flavours, least be much fairer for any transitions taken down the line.
* Can't get Nest camera or Nest doorbell video or images programmatically (without asking a google home device directly). This was the main reason why I sold my Ring and bought a Nest, since Ring didn't allow real time video streaming)
* Can't programmatically set or get the nest thermostat temperature, humidity, or home/away status (again, without asking a google assistant device directly).
* I can't get notifications of status changes any more. No more API access to things like notifications when someone rings the doorbell, or a camera sees a person.
* I don't know for sure, but from what I can see this kills any and all Alexa integration.
* And similarly, unless samsung has been blessed by google specifically, SmartThings integrations will go away.
There aren't any real improvements since the Nest products were already available from the google assistant system. And while you can argue many of the new-ish features (like being able to ask the google assistant screen devices to see the camera or get notifications on google home devices for doorbell rings) are improvements since they didn't really use the previous "works with nest" APIs, it's basically trading the ability for anyone to use those APIs, to only google being able to use them and give those abilities out to specific players they allow.
So what we need is a small piece of text-to-speech hardware that will speak commands to your Google Assistant device.
Technically you can do text input in the app already, and I believe they have an SDK that allows you to send your own info to the assistant and get responses of some kind. I'm honestly not sure about that, but i'm curious to see if there is something there I can work with. (and if the pricing model of it follows other google APIs, their "free" tier is probably more than enough to handle a single user, and each hacker-oriented "user" could just setup their own project which is how we also used the nest APIs).
I can then find a set of "commands" that I can feed to the "HID" (for lack of a better term), and create an extremely unofficial API around that...
Getting video back is going to be tough, but maybe with some extreme abuse of the chromecast APIs and that same HID->API interface I can get the google assistant to "cast" the camera feed to a faked chromecast and then pull the stream from there...
But as much as I like to daydream about that kind of stuff, i'm not going to do it. I don't need my google account shut down for abuse (imo probably rightfully so in that case, i'm sure that's against all kinds of terms!), and I don't want to support this decision if they do end up going through with this and don't provide an adequate replacement. So I'll probably just sell my Nest devices like I did previously with my Ring, and find another solution that won't pull the rug out from under me.
I don't see Google running a service at a loss for half a decade.
All gadgets that are internet connected will stop working sooner or later, I guess with Google it is sooner.
This and privacy concerns is the reason I'm abiding anything IoT. Why should I purchase something that I can't own.
PowerShell still relies on conhost.
Do you mean PowerShell ISE instead of plain PowerShell or do you mean cmd.exe instead of conhost?
The risk of breaking something for someone is just too high.
This is also why Wine struggles from version / config to version / config. They cant account for every edge case the way Microsoft does / has. Microsoft by comparison has unlimited resources while Wine is just volunteers who can only test so much software.
Granted, conhost will stay for compatibility reasons and this is a new thing.
But it's open source: https://github.com/Microsoft/Terminal . And according to the readme contains the source for conhost.exe too.
Has it really, or does it simply mean that access is going to be through Google’s API going forward?
It doesn’t seem super clear, but I can see why Google wouldn’t want to maintain two separate APIs.
For example, you can't grab images from a camera through the assistant API, you can't get notification of a doorbell ring, you can't get notified when one of the devices detects a person.
All the rest of my IoT stuff is either open-source hardware/software, or at the least local-only with known protocol interfaces. This was the one exception I made for IoT "cloud", giving Google the benefit of the doubt. I regret deeply giving them that benefit now.
In a few years, it will also return a profit due to an at-purchase and annual credit that my electricity utility provides.
I have pets which don't do well above a certain temperature so I keep my wireless unit by them.
I wish there were an open-source Nest firmware, or at least an open-source backend. Google doesn't need to know when I'm home.
And of course, after I sold it there was the incident where a server error caused everyone's heat to stop working, so the fact that my pets didn't freeze to death that day made a big impact on me too. ;)
All of the complaints you just made about nest can be attributed to apple as well
After months of waffling I gave in and got one. I also regret that decision now too. Last Nest purchase I will ever make.
If a feature that was advertised is removed after sale, this is reason to revert the sale.
One more reason to go for a completely-in-my-lan solution.
Nest products were the one exception. Previously owned several Nest Protect units and a thermostat. Moved, and installed a Nest thermostat and some temperature sensors. Just a couple of weeks ago, finished writing a data collection script to look at the temperatures in various rooms of the house. Mostly to have some real-world personal data to play with. Was hoping to write an Alfred workflow to change the temperature from my laptop.
Now I've lost those options, and in addition, I will have to have a Google account. (That is how the notice reads, right? You don't have to convert immediately, but you will have to convert eventually?)
Almost consider it my fault. I trusted Google in this one case after losing trust in Google in many other cases. “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”
Will probably start looking for alternatives. Hopefully the corporate machine is paying attention to this, and will realize that attempting to force users into your ecosystem will drive many of them to different ecosystems. But it will take time and effort to regain user trust.
A retailer can be busy ducking all their legal obligations and telling you that you're long past the window of refund, but mention the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act and you usually get a very different response, or a manager is called over (to authorise the inevitable refund). The Sale of Goods Act is still law (Well, parts of it), and the newer EU Consumer Rights Act is in force as well. Good job too, the Sale of Goods Act is stronger in several areas, whilst the EU gave us 2 year warranty.
There is case law where things have been judged to be within reasonable expected life, and a repair, refund or compensation ordered long after the mandatory warranty ran out.
For example I'm in Denmark and we have a consumer ombudsmand were you can make complaints about violations of your rights as a consumer https://www.consumerombudsman.dk/about-us/ (it talks about marketing but I the Nest was marketed to have functionality it no longer has), in fact there may already be sort of an Ombudsmand ruling that pertains here https://www.consumerombudsman.dk/media/46530/2016-memorandum... which says you can return something after your normal right of return but you are liable for diminished value - so you would not get the full refund in this case but something.
Of course I think that an actual complaint on this subject would result in a memorandum that you can get your full refund.
BIG IoT is a European project to enable IoT Ecosystems.
With our technologies, we enable cross- standard, cross-platform, and cross-domain IoT services and applications. We are embedded in the European IoT Platforms Initiative: https://iot-epi.eu
It would be as if they announced tomorrow that the only way to read GMail is in Chrome browser or on an Android phone.
It's exactly the same as previous shutdowns, it's just that you didn't personally care about previous shutdowns and couldn't be arsed to emphasise or learn the lesson that google can not be trusted to keep services alive.
The sharp folks are those like ocdtrekkie upthread who shed their nest immediately upon learning of the acquisition.
It was the same when G+ was created. Asshole Executives started jamming + buttons everywhere, including search results (!). They killed + in search queries as meaning "required". Every semi-successful feature had to get G+ integration to maximize the adoption of G+.
Also, forced Youtube integration and G+ accounts being required even to rate Android apps.
We shouldn’t reward scummy behaviour like this.
If you used the Gmail API https://developers.google.com/gmail/api and client that supports OAuth instead of SMTP with username/password you wouldn't really run into this problem.
Yeah it kind of sucks for hobbyists because it's not as simple as sending an SMTP email but that's more to do with the lack of good tooling than something fundamental.
The last thing will be search. At some point it’ll be curated for my own good.
To be fair, Everyone has to make a living, but be honest don’t take people for suckers of make them into suckers.
Ironically I could not find this link via DDG, but it was the first hit on Google.
Is your response satire?
I want to believe it is.
Using Google via VPN services, there are many other users. Occasionally someone's been a jerk, and Google gives you the stinkeye. But then you switch to a different server.
I added "private VM" in case OP was sharing a machine with his girlfriend. But really, it's always prudent to use VPNs from dedicated VMs. Because that compartmentalizes tracking. And using VMs also simplifies managing machine state. You can use a fresh clone for each session, for example. Or boot from a static image.
I like DDG and StartPage, for sure. But sometimes I just gotta use Google.
I think you can mark the spot where the business folk took the reins from the engineers by the date of their first TV ads.
I really wish more jurisdictions would ban billboard ads.
Turns out they were just making us dependent on them, and now that they've got us, they do whatever they want. We need to make ourselves less dependent on Google. Move away from GMail, use Firefox, DuckDuckGo, OSM, federated social networks, etc. I don't have a good replacement for Android yet, as iOS is just another walled garden. Similarly, Facebook is no replacement for Google+. We need stuff to be opener, not dependent on another company. For email, you need to own your own domain, so you can easily move from one provider to another.
The open source MicroG project  takes things a step further by acting as a drag-and-drop replacement for Google Play Services. It provides a FOSS location provider backend, allows the device passes SafetyNet checks (Snapchat/Pokemon Go/online banking), and generally makes for a seamless mobile experience.
I've been using both for ~6 months now and the only noticeable difference is GPS taking a few seconds longer to get a satellite lock. Definitely worth a shot if you're interested in de-googling your Android.
It might not suit your needs, but I've been happily using SailfishOS for the past four years.
Descended from MeeGo, I see. I hadn't heard from it yet, but I'll have a look.
Basically it's good for anything geo or <your language> related but everything else is getting worse.
I’m really not sure why they felt the need to change a winning strategy...
This must be the dystopian future we were warned about.
Their user base just isn't us people using their services.
My daughter wrote a letter to a clothing manufacturer about how the embroidered lettering was falling apart on a brand name shirt. They sent her a new one, for free.
That is good marketing. What Google is doing? Slowly turning their brand into the "don't trust us with anything long term" brand.
edit: by that I mean using many tools to project an image of clean smart friendliness.
While with Google I now find myself actively worrying about how to avoid their services before they break things I depend on. I certainly will not use any new services from Google... It feels like the world has turned upside down.
Now it’s just “acquire, extinguish”
Probably because it IS complete regard for the user base :/
I created my app when I had a Nest thermostat and was working from home. The thermostat would assume that no-one was at home during the day - and so turn off the heating - as I didn't walk past it often enough, so the original purpose of the app was just to detect when I was actively using my PC, and ping the thermostat not to go into "Away" mode.
It was then really rewarding to add more features and make the app available for others to use. I got some lovely feedback and sensible feature requests via email, and one user generously did a French translation of the UI. I even got a small number of $€£s in Paypal donations!
However. I no longer have a Nest thermostat (moved to Australia, where they're not available), no longer work from home, and now have a young son. So I have to admit that prioritising the time & finding the motivation to rework the app to work against a different set of APIs (if even possible) may be hard to come by.
I'm being a devils advocate, but ... if you were at Google and a person making large business decisions, why would you care about 1800 users?
Are you saying those 1800 people can't be upset about the lost functionality because they don't effect Google's bottom line?
I don't understand how your comment follows from the GP
Nest products are expensive, those 1800 users may equate to a few hundred thousand in revenue for Google, who may instead buy a competitor for their next purchase.
Because they're still users, and that's only for this app; there are a lot more Nest users than that. How Google treats them is a sign of how they may treat other users in the future. If Google make it a habit to screw users, users will not trust Google in the future. Losing the trust of your users is more expensive than some companies seem to realise.
If it's 1800 individual hobbyists I get it, but if we're talking about 1800 small and medium businesses that have to find a different way to support their customer base that's a huge problem.
Google is poisoning their brand to the people who control the spend and make technology decisions. While Ballmer's "Developers, developers, developers" delivery on stage was painful, he was right, and Nadella at Microsoft gets it.
I would not recommend any Google products, including Google Cloud, to anyone.
Or are you saying it's prescient because Apple saw that such capabilities were not economically viable in the long run, and so it was prescient of them to never develop the functionality in the first place?
If all the accessory vendors were to go under and Apple were to stop supporting HomeKit tomorrow, HomeKit accessories and hubs would still operate just fine and alternatives could be created. Even using Alexa or Google Nest for voice control.
From what I can tell, Homebridge implements Homekit as a device, receiving commands. But can anyone build an app or device to send commands, outside of iOS?
The fact that I can't find an Homekit control app for Android strongly indicates this is not possible.
A protocol being fully documented does not mean you can get a device you cannot control (like an Homekit lightbulb) to connect to your server instead of the manufacturer's. If requests are signed and/or encrypted, knowing the protocol won't help if you don't have the keys. See also Tivoization.
> For example, search the web for ‘homebridge alexa’
I had found it. I don't think you realize that there's no Homekit there at all.
The point of Homebridge is to translate from a Homekit-speaking control app/assistant to a non-Homekit-enabled device:
But when you use homebridge-alexa, you're replacing that first link with another protocol (specifically, MQTT+JSON, which is what it uses to connect to https://www.homebridge.ca/).
So you've actually removed all Homekit parts from your smart home system!
It's just terrible, barely working, shoehorned in buggy drivers, "shipped as soon as it can appear functional" code.
You could take a microcontroller, write something simple, and have something that worked to a few 9s.
Instead, IoT vendors spend their time optimizing their data collection and monetization platforms.
"You had one job..." would be a good epitaph for the entire industry.
Not all smart devices are created alike. Research your purchases.
So far the one I’ve been most happy with is IKEA Trådfri.
It costs roughly half of the comparable Phillips hue offering, but still delivers on any aspect I care about.
Works 100% locally, uses standard Zigbee (non-WiFi) networking. No cloud required.
Supports HomeKit, Alexa, google assistant, not to mention Home Assistant.
More importantly, it supports other vendor’s Zigbee devices (like Hue) and supports working with other Zigbee controllers than IKEA’s own.
Also certified non-shit by kernel-hacker Matthew Garret.
Nobody can shut me out of this purchase. This is actually my hardware.
Baby starts moving in bedroom, light bulb flashes in kitchen.
Sonos stopped supporting remote control, no problem, map IKEA remote controller to start/stop Sonos playback.
I also have two Nests. Stringify has now shut down (and was buggy/difficult to use), and IFTTT is now losing access to Nest it seems, so I guess that's a real knockback of at least several years for smarthome.
Even when it was all in theory working, the most simple thing was not actually possible - Nest shows you humidity, so when humidity is over 60%, turn on the dehumidifier (I have one upstairs, one downstairs). Such a simple task coudln't be achieved because of about individual problems, and this to me puts the date of solving it back quite a way.
Edit: They do support UPnP, but still they are wide open to attack.
Not saying the OP isn't having issues, but there might be a sample bias when reading the comments.
With those devices. Don’t get me wrong, I love AliExpress - but I’d be worried about anything running at mains voltage, especially when I’m away from home.
It is hard to make a lasting business off that, which is why everyone wants to do subscription services.
Maybe it's because people trying to get rich quick playing the VC lottery are sucking the oxygen out for people who want to just do a honest to God, "payment in exchange for providing value" type of business.
That implies stuff like "there is one way to do it", "95+% branch coverage in unit tests", and "100,000-1M hours of automated stress testing of real hardware before shipping a new board rev."