Apple Mac and Nest Cam, together. What a sight!
Watch Cam lets you monitor all your Nest Cams and the Nest Hello Doorbell from your Mac's menu bar, or the notification center widget. It is also the first ever Nest app with a person-detection alert system, that does not require expensive Nest IQ cameras, or Nest Aware monthly subscription. This system inspects the feeds from all your cameras every 5 seconds, using Apple's Machine Learning person detection neural network, and runs completely on your computer, without sending your feeds anywhere. macOS High Sierra is required for this functionality, and there are two of these custom detection systems available:
• Person detection, which is capable of detecting an appearance of a person, no matter which way they are positioned in relation to the camera.
• Face detection, which can be used in case your cameras are pointed towards the areas with visible pedestrians, that can create unwanted alerts. Face detection will only create an alert if the person's face is visible to the camera.
• Click on the menu bar, which highlights the last recorded event time, to open the app popout. All your cameras are shown with live feed, or the last event clip playing.
• Swipe to open the notification center, and the cameras are displayed in the widget, again showing the live feed or the last event.
• Pinch to zoom: Set the mouse pointer over the spot of the camera view where you want to zoom, and then use pinch gesture on your trackpad to zoom in and out. Click and drag to move the zoomed-in view around.
• Double tap with two fingers on your trackpad, or double tap with single finger on your Magic Mouse to change the zoom levels.
• Menu bar will update instantly to display any newly recorded events, and will show how much time has passed since the last event, in an easily glanceable format (eg. "5 minutes ago").
• For the first 15 minutes, the event time in the menu bar will be highlighted in green, to draw your attention. The event time will disappear from the menu bar altogether after one hour, unless a newer event appears. Options for this are configurable in the settings menu.
• Clicking on the Event clip, or the Live feed view, will open the Nest website, and deep link into the respective camera.
• When the app popout is opened, if the camera has an event less than 15 minutes old, the event clip will play. Otherwise, the Live feed will be shown. You can switch between the Live feed and Event views at any time, by pressing the small camera icon to the left of the camera view.
• Events are presented as notification banners, that slide out as they occur, and can be reviewed in the notification center.
• Camera views can be detached from the menu bar, to become a floating window that can be positioned anywhere on your desktops, and which will not close when you click outside of it. To do this, just click on the menu bar icon to open the popout window, and then click on the window's top part and drag it away.
Make sure to sign in with your main Nest account. At this time, Nest doesn't allow support for Family accounts in 3rd party apps.
While the app's minimalist looks betray the simplicity of its operation, what they don't show is the amount of planning, design, development and refinement that went into it, ensuring it becomes something that is enjoyable to use and experience.
The goal was to make a product that would feel like it truly belongs to both the macOS, and Nest ecosystems.
Please Note: Watch Cam does not collect any of your data. Your login information, camera settings, and any activity - all of it flows exclusively between your Mac, your cameras, and Nest Labs. Author of Watch Cam has no access to any of it, at any point.
Nest®, Nest Learning Thermostat™, Nest Leaf Logo™, Airwave™, Auto-Away™, Nest Protect™, Nest Protect™ smoke + carbon monoxide, Nest Cam™, Nest Cam IQ™, Nest Hello™, and the Works with Nest logos are trademarks licensed by Nest Labs, Inc.
+ Notification Center Widget now automatically adapts to Dark Mode in macOS Mojave. Main app can be manually switched from Dark to Light mode.
• For users with multiple homes, thermostats are now sorted by home, and the home name is displayed in front of the room name. For users with one home, they remain sorted alphabetically Thanks to David for the suggestion.
Ratings and Reviews
Almost perfect, but one BIG flaw
I like this app on my Apple Watch and my iPhone, and LOVE it on my Apple TV. It's just about perfect on those devices, so I figured I would download it on my MacBook Pro, too. Well, unfortunately, the app requires running in the Menu Bar and doesn't run as it's own window. Why is this a problem? Well, I have yet to find a way to leave the app open and displaying my cameras on one screen while I work on the other screen. I can open the widget from the Menu Bar, and make it full screen, and that looks great, but as soon as I move back to another app (even though it's on another screen), the Watch Cam closes back into the Menu Bar.
Feature Request: Please make it so this app can run in it's own, full-screen window. Then I'll change this to 5 stars.
Developer Response ,
Hi! I’m happy to say that the app does already support running in its own detached window that can be left open while you’re doing something else :) To do this, when you click on the app in the menu bar, and the popover is open, just click on the top of the popover, and drag it down, away from the menu bar. It will detach, and the window will stay open until you close it with an X in the top left corner. I’m glad you like the app, and hopefully now you’ll like it even more. Feel free to send any improvement ideas to email@example.com
Fantastic little app for Mac OS
I read all of the reviews in the app store before I purchased this app and its great to see a developer who offers completre satisfaction and immediate response to end users with questions or concerns or just feedback. I already own Thermo Watch and use it daily from my Macbook as a super conventient way to control my 3 Nest Thermostats and I never knew this app existed or I would have purchased it sooner. It is a very thoughtfully designed app that lest me see my multiple Nest cams as I work, and get notifications that are not intrusive. I can deal with the frame rate limitations and and toggle easily to see who's at the front door. I love the way the app blends with the OS and dark mode and can live in the menu bar or be popped-out in their own windows. Well worth the $2.99 for something I will use daily! Thank you for providing this slick app, I love it!
exactly what I was searching for
Thank you to the developer for creating and maintaining this clever little app! We have four Nest Cameras in two different states, and being able to check on both places periodically, with just a click of my computer mouse, is SO reassuring. (I also often work at my computer late at night with my back to a large sliding-glass window—which can feel kinda creepy!—but I obviously don't want to check my phone every time it buzzes with a notification.)
I am so pleased that someone out there took the time and care to create this elegant and uncomplicated app. It offers just the right amount of information. Real peace-of-mind, and for less than the cost of a 6-piece Chicken McNugget meal. Great stuff!
Developer Response ,
Thank you for this review! It always feels great to hear from users who enjoy using these apps.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.