‎New customer verdict - good but UX not a patch on Nest Guard | SimpliSafe Support Home
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Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 9:56 AM

New customer verdict - good but UX not a patch on Nest Guard

Just bought and installed to replace my Nest Guard setup since Google pulled the plug on the product and it was near-impossible to get new sensors, etc.

Verdict - overall satisfied. It's a nice product and the hardware seems largely high quality and robust (albeit a bit clunky and retro looking). However, SimpliSafe are clearly very very underinvested in the software side of their business. Whilst Nest Guard had it's problems (mirroring the overall mess Google has made of the Nest acquisition) the UX and general slickness of the product was light-years ahead of where Simplisafe. There are so many examples of this:

  1. Identity
    1. Multi user support in the app.
    2. No decent MFA support. This is a security critical device. SMS does not cut it anymore.
    3. No social login support (e.g. login via FB, google, etc).
  2. App Architecture and interface to HW
    1. General inability to do anything but the most basic setup via app, requiring me to use the keypad interface that feels a bit like programming a 1980s VCR.
    2. Whole app architecture is just strange, the app seems to have to continually poll for status and is very vocal when it gets out of sync. Clearly needs re-written around an event-driven async architecture like very other modern smart home app.
  3. Other
    1. App only - doesn't include a web interface?
    2. Poor smart home integration. Understand the security challenges when providing APIs but risk is mitigated by making them RO and even just allowing for some webhooks - e.g. window open call this URL (or use MQTT) would go a long way.
    3. When setting the alarm it tells me that a sensor is open. I have 12 sensors - tell me which one and dont make me run around the house searching!
  4. Hardware
    1. The indoor camera hardware is in dire need of a refresh. Setup experience is poor (not helped that I hit a hard-to-diagnose bug where it didn't like the special chars in my SSID or PSK that manifested itself in refusing to read the QR code). This was mitigated by a great support experience - kudos to Jacob in UK support.
    2. The smart camera market is tough for a smaller player to keep up with. My advice would be to investigate integrations with other manufacturers. There's no way I'm replacing my existing set of cameras with SimpliSafe. Even if the software was up to scratch I'm too invested.
    3. Motion sensors look like they are from the 1990s. The nest sensors were way more discrete and modern looking.
    4. In keeping with the retro-theme you really need to invest in some old school cargo-trousers to have the pocket space for the key-fob.

This might make me sounds like an unsatisfied customer. I'm not actually. The hardware worked and I had very few problems during setup. For me this robutness trumps the primitive software but it could be so much more. I think there's a big market opportunity for a focused and dedicated smart-home-security vendor but it needs great hardware and great software!


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