Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free.
When it comes to IP security cameras, Dropcam is (and has been) one of the biggest names in the game. It's easy enough to use, sets up quickly, and can basically be left alone once everything is in place (most of the time, at least). That's the kind of simplicity that most home and small business owners want, which is what Dropcam has been offering since day one. Add in the fact that the company is constantly adding new, useful features to its apps, and you have a winner.
Back in June, Dropcam announced that it had been purchased by Nest (and, by relation, Google). It's been a few months since that happened, and it looks like the first signs of that merger are now taking place, starting with Nest integration in the Dropcam Android app.
Dropcam now works with both the Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide detector and Nest Thermostat, and will provide different levels of feedback according to settings and the device.
Dropcam is an incredibly useful product, but like with most things, there is always room for improvement. For example, if you're monitoring a room that people frequently walk through, maybe you don't want a notification every single time someone hits a hot zone. Maybe you just need to know if something happens in the very back corner. With today's update, that's now possible for users who subscribe to Dropcam's Cloud Recording service.
Nest really is completely into this whole "home automation" thing, isn't it? The guys who put out the first smart thermostat and smoke detector have just entered into an agreement to buy Dropcam for $555 million monies. Oh, and in case you've forgotten, Google owns Nest. So, technically, Google is buying Dropcam. That's pretty sweet.
According to Nest's post on the acquisition, they'll begin working together to "reinvent product that will help shape the future of the conscious home and bring our shared vision to more and more people around the world," which sounds pretty exciting.
Last month, Dropcam updated its app with a slew of new features and a more unified interface. Building on that update, the company has now released version 3.0, which brings a handful of unique features to the Android app.
In a nutshell, the app now has an "Activity Feed" that allows Cloud subscribers to filter videos by specific activities, completely customizable activity categories and alerts, and the ability to set the camera up directly from a mobile device.
DIY home surveillance has become infinitely easier over the past several years, with options like Dropcam leading the way. The product offers a nearly-instant setup, 24 hour monitoring, and optional CVR cloud storage of recorded videos. While all this is great, there was certainly room for improvement in the camera's companion app, which recently received a major update to version 2.6 that brings some much-needed features, making it substantially more useful than before.
About a month ago, Dropcam released Dropcam Pro ($199), an upgraded version of its previous camera, the Dropcam HD ($150). This new version boasts quite a few improvements over the HD version (which is now simply known as "Dropcam" and nothing more), like a wider field of view, increased zoom, improved low light vision (night vision), and better audio quality. So, basically everything. Well, everything that matters anyway. The real question is "how useful is it?" – it's not only useful, but versatile.
If you've always dreamed of having a way to monitor your kids, pets, house, or all of the above from your mobile device or PC and haven't looked into Dropcam, you're missing out. And today, the company announced the newest member to the Dropcam family: the Dropcam Pro. Sounds fancy.
This Pro edition camera features quite a few upgrades from its predecessor (which isn't going away, by the way - it'll just be called "Dropcam" instead of Dropcam HD henceforth), including sharper image quality, 8x zoom, 130 degree field of view, and enhanced two-way talk.