If you have a Nest camera and are trying to livestream its feed or video events while on a mobile data connection, odds are you're squinting at your screen and wondering why the heck everything looks so pixelated. The issue was introduced with version 5.59 of the Nest app and didn't seem to be related to any specific camera, phone, or mobile operator. The problem is now fixed with v5.60 of the Nest app, so you can finally update and get rid of it.

Our tipster Doug first noticed this issue in late November. When viewing his Nest Hello feed on a WiFi connection with v5.59.0.5 (APK Mirror) of the Nest app, everything was fine, but when switching to mobile data, the quality dropped drastically and everything became pixelated and distorted. The aspect ratio changed too, with the stream compressing vertically and showing black boxes above and below the video. There were also several bars of artifacts on the bottom of the video.

Left: WiFiRight: Mobile data.

Oddly enough, the feed preview on the Nest app's home page was fine, so it's only when opening the fullscreen stream in the Nest app that he got the potato quality. The problem also occurred for recorded events, which stream in low quality on mobile but in full resolution on WiFi.

Even recorded events are distorted when viewed on mobile data.

We looked into this issue and were able to replicate it on several of our own Nest cameras, regardless of model (Hello, indoor, etc...), in various locations and with multiple accounts. It was also unaffected by how fast our data connection was, our operator, or the phone we were using.

Left: WiFi. Right: Mobile data.

The only common thread behind the bug is the version of the Nest app. Downgrading to v5.58 (APK Mirror) or upgrading to v5.60 (APK Mirror) fixes the problem. Video quality goes back to normal on mobile data, proving that this was a temporary issue and that Google has fixed it with the latest Nest app update. Beware, though, the new v5.60 may cause slow streaming on mobile data on some networks — our tispter experienced this but we didn't.

Fixed

The post has been updated to indicate that the bug has been fixed with v5.60 of the Nest app, which is now rolling out to users.

Nest
Nest
Developer: Nest Labs Inc.
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  • Thanks:
  • Doug

Image: Christos Giakkas from Pixabay