It’s been just over a year since Google’s parent company Alphabet announced that Nest would be fully merged with Google’s hardware division. Today, that relationship went from a behind-the-scenes tryst to a full-blown marriage, topped off with the news that the Google Home and Nest product ranges will now be unified under a single brand: Google Nest.
The first product to bear the Google Nest branding is the Google Nest Hub Max smart display, announced today at Google I/O 2019. To avoid confusion, the smaller Google Home Hub launched last year will also be rebranded to Google Nest Hub. At least for now, Google Home speakers won’t be changing names, but new versions could very well drop the Home branding in favor of “Google Nest”.
Google has been keen to stress that this isn’t just a simple name change for its smart home products family. Instead, the rebranded line will attempt to bring the best of Google Home and the best of Nest into a single, simple user experience.
Later this summer, existing Nest and Google users will be able to merge their Nest account with their Google account. Meanwhile, when a new user sets up any Google Nest device the onboarding process will only require a Google account login.
While the Google Home and Nest apps will remain separate for now, Google Nest users will be able to play around with all of their Google Nest, Home, and Nest products through the Home app with a single Google password.
As for existing Nest customers worried about where their data might be going, Nest global product lead Lionel Guicherd-Callin told Android Authority that the company’s dedication to privacy won’t be undermined by the merger and it won’t be selling data. Users will instead be able to review and have the option to remove anything collected by Google Nest products.
Google has also announced that it will be running a unified developer program to help smart home manufacturers craft simple connections between any connected devices and Google Nest products via the Google Assistant.
Google Nest is seen by Google as the solution to the fragmented smart home market where buyers often have multiple devices from various different brands. These devices all rely on different apps and services and very rarely play ball with each other out of the box. That won’t be the case with anything under the new Google Nest brand.
The merger brings the Google and Nest story full circle, with the smart home company finally unified as originally intended when it was purchased by Google back in 2014 for a cool $3.2 billion. Nest instead became a subsidiary company under the wider Alphabet banner, but now its smart thermostats, cameras, and security system finally join the extended Made by Google family proper.