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[Update: Setup video, opt-in confirmed] Your Nest Secure becomes an Assistant-integrated smart speaker starting today

Last spring, the Nest Secure finally picked up Assistant-based controls, letting you do things like arm/disarm, and check the status of your home security setup from your phone or Google Home. It would appear that was merely the first step in deeper Assistant integration following the merger of Nest with Google's hardware team. Starting today, your Nest Secure won't just accept commands from your Google Home, it'll start to behave like one itself. That's right, it's getting the Assistant.

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Rakuten's site-wide 15% discount brings Google Home Max to $340 ($60 off)

Back in November, Rakuten took a leaf out of eBay's book and offered a site-wide discount code for 20 percent off all items, leading to some pretty sweet deals on Google Home products. Now, the retailer has brought back its offer - and while it's just 15 percent off this time around, it's still well worth checking out. This promo can nab you up to $60 off some items, including the Google Home Max.

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Woo your valentine with these Google Store deals, including Pixel 2 and lots of smart home tech

Valentine's Day is coming up and you still don't know what to get your significant other? Think no more; Google has you covered with bundles and special deals on the Pixel 2, several connected home devices, and accessories.

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Get a Google Home Hub for $20 with the purchase of select Nest devices at Best Buy, B&H, and more

The holiday sales season isn't over yet - Boxing Day deals are the last big hurrah before a promo dry spell. Among the most intriguing deals of the day (for Americans) is an offer that reduces Google's regularly $150 Home Hub to $20 if bought in tandem with select Nest devices at retailers including B&H, Best Buy, and Walmart. There's no doubt that Google will continue to push its smart devices in the new year with lots more deals to come, but at an $80 discount, this current promotion is certainly compelling. 

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Google Home v2.8 adds Routines button to home screen, deep linking to Nest app [APK Download]

The Google Home app only gets an update around once a month, but that generally means that more changes are implemented each time. With version 2.8, a Routines button has been added to the home screen, and there's now a deep link to the Nest app in the Thermostat and Camera sections.

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[Update: It's back] Nest is down for the second time in two weeks

Yes, Nest is down again. You'd think that a security camera system that tens of millions of people use would be better at keeping its service up and running, but this is the second time Nest has gone down in less than two weeks.

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These Ring and Nest doorbell bundles from Costco come with a year of free video cloud service

Even the most jaded smart home cynic can see the use in connected security systems, locks, and doorbells. Our own David Ruddock recently called his new smart door lock "the most sensible smart home gadget I've used," and, by his own admission, he's difficult to impress. For those interested in getting in on the smart home doorbell/lock/security kit game, Costco is currently offering discounted Ring and Nest bundles, some of which offer year-long subscriptions to cloud services for storing security video.

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Nest Black Friday sale takes up to $70 off Learning Thermostats, cameras

Looking to make your home a little smarter, or just tired of manually controlling its temperature? Nab yourself a new Nest Thermostat or other Nest product as part of an official sale, just in time for Black Friday.

Starting today, Nov. 21, and running through Nov. 28, retailers are hosting discounts on Nest products, including the Learning Thermostat, Thermostat E, and indoor or outdoor security cameras. You can even grab a smoke and carbon monoxide detector or smart doorbell, as they're all part of the sale. Here's a list of what you can expect from each retailer as well as Nest and Google's digital storefronts.

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A smart door lock might be the most sensible smart home gadget I've used

When it comes to home security, peace of mind and convenience are what matter to me, making a smart lock pretty damn appealing. We know that homes generally aren't targeted by burglars for a lack of obstacles, but for an abundance of opportunity (like an unlocked door!), and a smart door lock leaves one less thing to chance when you're away on vacation or at the office. All the locks in the world probably aren't going to stop someone truly determined to break into your home - so unless you're barring your windows and using solid exterior doors (and most US homes aren't), I don't think the physical security argument has many legs to stand on.

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Nest Thermostat 3rd gen and Google Home Mini bundle is just $170 ($70 off) at Costco

If you haven't yet outfitted your house with any smart home products and you'd like to get started, Costco is currently offering a Nest Thermostat 3rd gen and Google Home Mini bundle for just $169.99, $70 off the bundle's regular price and a huge savings over the individual prices.

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