It’s happening. Google Nest has quietly rolled out the capability for current Nest Account holders to migrate to Google Accounts, as part of their plan to fully integrate the Nest and Google Home brands under one device ecosystem.
However, current Nest users should not be in a hurry to migrate their accounts, since all Works with Nest integrations with third-party accessories and apps will stop working as soon as the account is migrated. And, according to the latest messaging from Google Nest, the account migration process is irreversible. Furthermore, from August 19, 2019, onward, all new Nest users will automatically be enrolled with a Google Account, so there is no workaround to enable going back to a Nest Account after initial migration.
But all is not lost for current Nest users. Google Nest says they are not forcing users to migrate from Nest to Google accounts for the foreseeable future, so people can elect to continue using the Nest app and their existing Nest account. In that case, their existing Works with Nest connections will continue to work. At least for now.
Over time, that may certainly change since after August 31, 2019, Google Nest will no longer accept new developer connections into the Works with Nest (WWN) program. Instead, new developers wanting to integrate with Nest products will have to do so through the Works with Google Assistant (WWGA) program. And current WWN developers will be encouraged to migrate their existing products and code bases to the WWGA program, to take advantage of the push to integrate Google Assistant voice controls for everything.
Should You Migrate Your Nest Account?
Prior to August 31, 2019, Google Nest plans to begin notifying current Nest Account holders that they are eligible to migrate from a Nest Account to a Google Account. These notifications will be in the form of an email from the firstname.lastname@example.org account. But even now, users can initiate a migration on their own, as the latest version of the Nest app sports a Migrate to a Google Account option. So, what should current Nest Account holders do? That depends on how many, if any, WWN integrations they are currently using in their connected homes.
For Nest Users Without Works with Nest Connections
For Nest users with no WWN connections, there is probably minimal downside to migrating. In that case, after migrating they will continue to use the Nest app for primary control and setup of their Nest products. Many secondary functions, such as inviting users or renaming a home, will immediately move into the Google Home app.
The Works with Nest settings option will be eradicated after migration (in fact, Google Nest will require users to disconnect all WWN connections as they migrate). Integrating third-party accessories and apps will then be done exclusively through WWGA, and this will enable Google Assistant voice activation plus Google Home app and Google Nest Hub on-screen controls.
Migrated users should not expect much in the way of Works with Nest-like capabilities—such as the often-used Nest Home/Away integration—as the code and APIs do not yet exist. Also, be aware you will no longer be able to use the Nest app on Apple TV or on Android TV devices.
For Nest Users With Works with Nest Connections
The majority of Nest users will likely fall into the other camp, where they will have one or more WWN integrations already in place. If you are one of these people, then proceed very carefully as there is no going back once your account is migrated.
We recommend holding off on migration, at least through the end of 2019, to see how the various third-party developers react to the new Google Nest posture. And to see how Google Nest responds to the need from the developer community for new WWGA APIs to replicate much of the former WWN functionality.
Short to medium term, things should remain status quo with most WWN connections. But ultimately, you can expect many of them to move to the WWGA program. That’s where new Google Nest features and innovations will happen, and where all new Nest users will reside.
The View by Yonomi
The dilemma here is best illustrated by Yonomi, a U.S. company co-headquartered in Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado. They are the developer of the Yonomi app, a free mobile app that serves as a home automation platform to connect many popular smart home devices into a central console.
Among the integrations are products (Things in Yonomi parlance) from Nest, as well as August Home, Lutron, Netatmo, Philips Hue, Resideo, Sonos, and many more. We use it extensively here in our Digitized House labs, particularly for its deep and flexible automation routines that are difficult to replicate elsewhere. It’s our go-to app for automating our homes while we are away.
In an email to its users on August 21, 2019, Yonomi messaged their posture on the Nest Account to Google Account migration: “If you migrate to a Google account, your Nest devices will immediately stop working with Yonomi and other Works with Nest partners. For this reason, we recommend that you do not migrate to a Google account if you wish to continue to keep your Nest devices connected to Yonomi and maintain the most unified automation experience for your home.”
Yonomi also went on to warn users about against accidentally removing Nest devices from their Yonomi account. Per the Yonomi email messaging: “After August 31, 2019, you will no longer be able to reconnect your Nest devices to Yonomi. New users that purchase their Nest devices after August 31, 2019, or those that already set up their Nest devices under a Google account, will not be able to connect to Yonomi.”
Choose Your Path Carefully
Clearly, Google Nest wants to be the master of your connected home, and they see Google Assistant voice control, the Google Home app, and Google Nest Hub and compatible smart displays as the preferred vehicles for enabling you to control it. Granted, Google Nest and the Google Assistant are a powerful ecosystem, but there are other options out there. Amazon and their Alexa ecosystem, Apple and their HomeKit/Siri ecosystem, and others are contending for mastery of your connected home. We will continue to exercise them all, and do our level best to keep you informed about where they are headed.