Philips Hue is about to lose its Nest integration: here's what you need to know

It should be temporary and it shouldn’t put you off Hue smart bulbs as a Nest user

Philips Hue
(Image credit: Signify)

We’ve got bad news and good news for Philips Hue owners who also use Nest products. The bad news? Hue is losing its 'Works With Nest' functionality from the 17th of November 2020. 

The good news is that it’s only going to affect some products and it should only affect you for a little while. And if you're thinking of buying Hue bits and pieces, we don’t think it should put you off taking advantage of any Philips Hue Black Friday deals.

So what’s going on?

What's changing with Hue bulbs and Nest?

The tl;dr version is that Philips Hue lights and accessories will no longer talk to Nest Thermostat, Nest Cam and Nest Protect. The loss of service will be temporary: it’ll all come back when Google finishes integrating the 'Works With Nest' features into the Google Home app, which is currently underway. You’ll still be able to control your Hue smart bulbs from Nest smart speakers and other Google devices via Google Assistant.

What's happened to Works With Nest?

The announcement on the Philips Hue blog is new, but 'Works With Nest' has been on its way out for some time now. Google announced the end of the programme in May 2019 and closed it in August 2019, quoting “security and simplicity”: 'Works With Nest' opened the products to a whole world of third party devices and apps, and Google wasn’t happy about that. So instead, it’s bringing Nest connectivity into the Google Home app where it has more control over what gets shared with what.

Part of that is because Google, as ever, wants to be the one thing that rules them all: as Google product marketing manager Mike Soucie told The Ambient in 2019, “multiple ecosystems and multiple masters were trying to control the same Nest device. And there was a level of confusion. Now, rather than having multiple platforms and ecosystems control Nest devices, we're bringing it all under the Works with Google Assistant ecosystem, a single controller for all your Nest, Google, and third-party devices.” 

The fact that to have that single controller you have to migrate to a Google Account, we’re sure, is just a happy coincidence.

What does this mean for Philips Hue Black Friday deals?

We’ve seen big discounting on Hue products in every recent Black Friday – Black Friday has saved us a fortune on Hue starter kits and bulbs over the years – and we don’t think this should put you off: Hue still works with Siri, with Alexa and with Google Assistant, and as we’ve noted above it still works with Nest smart speakers as well as Google Home products. And Hue still makes some of the best smart bulbs around.

There’s no doubt that the loss of connectivity is going to be annoying for Nest Thermostat, Cam and Protect owners, but it’s not going to affect most Hue owners, there are still plenty of other options to control them and it’s only temporary anyway. 

Or at least, it should be. You’d think that in the 18 months or so since Google announced the end of 'Works With Nest' it might have solved this issue by now.

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Carrie Marshall
Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (