Samsung and Google have done a great job in the past, especially with Android related projects. But after years of inexplicable lack of interoperability, the primary smart home hardware divisions of both companies are finally on the same page – they’re starting now.
Starting January 14, 2021, you can now add your Nest cameras, thermostats and doorbells to your SmartThings Hub. Cameras can act as motion detectors or sound sensors, doorbells can do the same with the addition of button functionality, and thermostats can trigger events based on temperature, humidity or mode. The thermostat also works the other way around, so you can adjust your air conditioning, heating or fan based on events in your home.
: Update SmartThings
First, make sure your SmartThings app has the latest version. Also keep in mind that the SmartThings Classic app is out of date, so this feature is only available in the new SmartThings app.
Step 2: Add a new device
From the main menu in SmartThings, tap + button to the top right corner. On the Add screen, go ahead and select “Device.”
Now make sure that the By brand tab is selected, then scroll through the list and select the new “Nest” item. Here you can choose between “Camera”, “Doorbell” and “Thermostat” as the device type. If you have more than one of these device types, please choose one for now. Finally, tap on ‘Nest’ on the last device screen.
Step 3: Choose the data that SmartThings can access
Then select your home under Placeand then choose a room to add the device (s) to. If you’re adding more than one device in more than one room, start with one for now. Hit “Next” when you’re done here.
From there, you will be asked to sign in to the Google account you use with Nest. Once you’ve done that, start by enabling the toggle next to ‘Allow Samsung SmartThings to see information about your home’. You will then see all your Nest devices listed separately. Turn on the toggle next to each one you want to use in SmartThings, then turn on the following enable switches that appear below.
You can choose not to allow certain functionality, but that will limit the possibilities for future automations, so beware.
Step 4: Connect your Nest account to SmartThings
Once you have enabled all the devices and permissions you are comfortable with, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap “Next” then “Allow” to confirm your choices. Once you’re done there, tap the “X” button (Android) or “Done” button (iOS) in the top left corner to wrap things up.
Step 5: Search for your Nest devices in SmartThings
Now you can find all your Nest devices in the Appliances section of the hamburger menu (three lines in the top left corner). Alternatively, they are also located in the room you chose during installation, so you can use the Room section in the hamburger menu to see them in one group.
If you have multiple Nest devices in multiple rooms, you will now need to manually assign the other devices to other rooms in your home.
Step 6: View and control your Nest devices
Now, just like any other device in SmartThings, you can tap any of your Nest products to see its current status. For doorbells and cameras, this means that you get a live feed of the video with a text overlay to let you know when sound or motion is detected. You can scroll the timeline below the video feed to view previous footage.
For thermostats, you can see target temperature, actual temperature, humidity, mode and more. Plus, you can change the target temperature and operating mode, and even turn the fan on – although, unlike the actual Nest app, you can only turn it on for 15 minutes and then turn it off automatically.
Step 7: Create automations with your Nest devices
Here’s the fun part: using your Nest products as presence sensors to trigger automations. To start, open the hamburger menu (three lines in the top left corner), then select ‘Automations’. On the next page, tap it + button to the top right corner.
Here you can add a Nest product under the ‘If’ field (i.e. the trigger for an automation), but keep in mind that cameras and doorbells won’t show up under ‘Then’, meaning SmartThings can’t activate to perform actions, but hey, they don’t perform many actions anyway. However, you can create automations that change your thermostat’s target temperature or operating mode by including it in the “Then” field.
But your primary use case will likely use cameras or your thermostat to trigger events in your SmartThings system (eg turn on lights or lock doors). In these cases, select your Nest device after clicking the + button under the “If” field, you will see the available sensors. Select one and then choose how you want it to trigger an action. When you’re done, you can go to the “Then” section to complete your automation!
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