In 2021, Google launched the first new security cameras – and a doorbell – since it bought Nest. The new devices don’t work with the older Nest app and instead use the Google Home app.
It makes sense, but is a pain for anyone who also owns older Nest cameras as they have to use two different apps. And, even with recent improvements, the Home app isn’t as good as the Nest app. But even if you only have the latest devices, they didn’t – until recently – support Amazon Alexa.
That meant you couldn’t view the live feed on an Amazon Echo Show, Fire TV or Fire tablet: this was possible only if you had a Nest Hub or one of Google’s other smart displays.
It also meant that, for Google Nest Doorbell (battery) owners, there was no way to get announcements from any Amazon Echo speakers in your home: this would again only work if you had Google smart speakers or displays.
Fortunately, the situation has changed because all the devices from the range are now supported by the Google Nest skill.
Setting it up is fairly straightforward, though there are a couple of extra steps to take if you had previously enabled the Google Nest skill in the Alexa app before setting up any of the newly supported devices.
And just for clarity, these are:
- Google Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery)
- Google Nest Cam (indoor, battery)
- Google Nest Cam with floodlight
- Google Nest Doorbell (battery)
Currently, it’s possible to view the live video feed from these devices on an Echo Show, Fire tablet or Fire TV. You can get motion alerts on all bar Fire TVs, even if you have only an Amazon Echo speaker.
All those devices support doorbell press notifications and two-way talk for the Nest Doorbell (battery).
Just note that battery-powered cameras will automatically shut off their live video feed after five minutes to save power.
Google says that – at some point soon – you’ll also be able to get notifications via Alexa when these devices detect a person at your door.
Note: to use any of these features, you must have migrated your Nest account (if you had one) to a Google account. Also, if you happen to own previous non-Google Nest cameras or the Doorbell (wired), Alexa supports only live view on Echo Show and Fire TV.
How to enable the Google Nest skill on Alexa
- In the Alexa app, tap More and the Skills & Games
- Search for Google Nest, choose it from the list of results and tap Enable To Use
- Sign in with your Google account and follow the prompts to link the account and authorise it for Alexa.
- Change the settings depending upon which notifications you want to receive.
- In the Google Home app, for each camera you have, enable the notifications you want (otherwise you won’t get them through Alexa). Tap your camera’s tile, then the cog icon, then Events > Seen events
As mentioned, if you’ve set up a Google Nest cam or the Doorbell (battery) since first enabling the Google Nest skill in the Alexa app, you’ll need to do the following:
- Use a web browser on your phone or computer and go to Google’s Partner Connections web page and make sure you are signed in with the same Google account that you used to set up your Google Nest device(s) – look at the icon at the top right. If it’s the wrong account, switch to the correct one.
- Tap on the Alexa connection
- Scroll down the list and tick those devices you want to use with Alexa
Note: you won’t see your Nest Doorbell (battery) in the list until you tap the toggle next to “Allow Amazon to show your camera’s live video using Alexa, and when there’s a person in front of the camera, you can talk to them”.
As soon as you’ve tapped on those boxes, you should get notifications from the Alexa app confirming that those devices are not connected to Alexa with the Google Nest skill.
Although all that sounds quite complicated, it’s actually fairly easy to set up. And now you should be able to use the following commands:
- “Alexa, show the [camera name]”
- “Alexa, answer the front door” or “Alexa, talk to the front door” (for Nest Doorbell (battery called ‘front door’)
- “Alex, hide the [camera name] feed”
You should also hear “Someone is at front door” from your Echo speakers and Echo Show devices when someone presses the doorbell on your Nest Doorbell (battery).
Finally you can also watch the live feeds from the cameras in the Alexa app, but it’s better to use the Google Home app where you can also view recorded clips, if you subscribe to Nest Aware.