Google Home app could soon work offline and finally support your old Nest camera

Google Home 2 release date news rumors
(Image credit: Future)

In a recent Reddit AMA, Google revealed it’s working on multiple projects for its smart home platform. Chief among these is the introduction of an offline mode. The way Google Home currently works, as explained by Android Authority, is commands sent to a device are transmitted through company servers first before affecting your network. If your internet ever goes out, commands cannot be sent at all which can be frustrating for homeowners. Offline mode will directly address this by enabling local control.

It may, however, be a while until we see the feature rollout. One of the Google devs told a commenter that the team is focusing more on routing device interaction locally through the Matter standard. They’re doing this first because they want to establish a stable software foundation with low latency before moving forward. “Once…. a significant portion of your traffic [is] running locally,” the company will look into establishing an offline mode for Google Home.  

Bringing in the old

Much of the AMA saw people airing out their grievances with Google Home. They point out the many issues affecting the platform using some, shall we say, colorful language. Once you get past all the vitriol, you begin to see what’s coming down the pipeline, including adding support for first-generation Nest cameras. 

The old models don’t work with the current iteration of Google Home, leading to an ecosystem filled with hardware that should function as a cohesive unit, but sadly doesn't. Support is sporadic at the moment According to another developer, updating the firmware for those old gadgets has been a tough challenge. Some of them are ancient by tech standards having launched back in 2015. A few, like the original Nest Cam Indoor, do work with Google Home.

Expanding support

Another area the team is working on is improving integration with third-party brands like Wyze and Eufy. Several commenters asked why the tech giant is so focused on Nest devices instead of expanding support to non-Google hardware. They cite “security and quality controls as reasons for delays”. Efforts like these require closely working with partners to ensure everything runs well.

Considering that Wyze recently suffered (yet another) security breach and service outage in February, perhaps it’s a good idea for the team to take its time filling in the gaps.

And that may be all the projects the Google Home dev team is working on right now. We scoured through the nearly one thousand comments but didn’t see anything else particularly noteworthy apart from promises from the team.

Unfortunately, a launch date for any of these features or a roadmap wasn’t given so we don’t know when these updates will arrive. But if and when they do come out, they’ll first be made available through Google Home’s Public Preview. Instructions on how to join the program can be found on the Nest Help website.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best smart speakers for 2024 if you're looking to upgrade.

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.