Google and Nest combine into a new smart home brand

The Google Nest brand encompasses all of the old Nest products and Google's smart speakers, smart displays, Wi-Fi and Chromecast products.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
2 min read

The Google Nest Hub Max is the first product to be developed under the new brand.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Google and Nest have joined forces, but for real this time. The two companies are combining into a single smart home brand aptly called Google Nest. Google announced the change at its Google I/O developer conference on Tuesday.

For now, the Google Nest Hub Max -- a smart display with a built-in cam and a 10-inch screen also announced at I/O -- as well as Google's first smart display, the Google Home Hub , are the only products that will carry the new name in their official branding. The Google Home Hub will now be called the Google Nest Hub.

Read more: Which Google Home speaker should you buy?

Watch this: The Google Nest Hub Max soups up the smart display

Other products are expected to be rebranded in the future. All of Nest's smart home products will fall under this brand, which includes the company's famous smart thermostats and security cameras, although their names won't change retroactively. Google's smart speakers, including the Google Home ; smart displays such as the Google Home Hub; Google Wifi routers and Google Chromecast streamers will also fall under the purview of Google Nest. Several products under the new brand are getting a price cut, including the Google Home Max, which now costs $100 less than before at $299.

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Google first acquired Nest back in 2014. Initially run as a separate business under parent company Alphabet, Nest was absorbed by Google early last year. Five months later, Nest was folded in further and merged with Google's smart home division. The company had previously operated as a distinct unit housed under the broader Google hardware division. Given that they've been a single team since last year, merging the brands makes a lot of sense.

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Merging accounts

As part of the new unified brand, customers with Nest accounts will be encouraged to merge them into Google accounts. You can control your Nest devices with the Google Home app. You won't be able to set up new Nest devices using that app yet, so customers can't remove the separate Nest app from their phones entirely.

Nest accounts will be moved to a maintenance mode, where they will still get security updates, but Google will provide new features only to Google accounts.

Similarly, companies that had joined the Works with Nest program will be encouraged to use Actions on Google -- a platform that allows third-party developers to create commands for Google Assistant -- to be compatible with the new joined brand.

Watch this: The Google Nest Hub Max soups up the smart display

The Google Nest Hub Max is the first jointly developed product under the new brand, and it cleverly combines Nest's camera smarts -- it can recognize you and track your movement when you talk on a video call -- with features from Google Assistant such as controlling your smart home and offering personalized recommendations when you search for something to eat.