Google's $500 million Dropcam is getting brutal 1-star reviews in the App Store

Nest camNestThe new Nest Cam.

The reviews for Dropcam are in, and they don’t look so good.

Wi-Fi camera company Dropcam sold to Google’s Nest for $555 million in June 2014.

In June 2015, Nest announced its first new product since Google acquired it for $3.2 billion last year — a smart camera called the Nest Cam, the first real product integration between the two companies.

The new device was heralded as a big improvement over the previous version of Dropcam, promising higher resolution video, better night vision, improved audio capabilities, and a sleeker hardware and app design.

But users on Apple’s App Store, where the Dropcam app has a 1 1/2 star rating, don’t seem to be too crazy about the newest version of the app.

Most of the one-star ratings of Dropcam, which date back to August of this year, are complaints about the frequency with which the app crashes, making its recordings unreliable. The complaints largely aren’t about the hardware itself, but about the perceived bugginess of the app.

“App is constantly not working,” one user says. “We use this as a baby monitor and we’re always unable to view the live feed because the app doesn’t work, or the camera mysteriously disconnects. Despite the fact that the camera is on and connected to the network. Our camera sits less than 10ft from our wifi hub in the same room so it has nothing to do with signal strength either.”

Other users echo sentiments about the app and Dropcam’s video recording feature not working. “I’ve used three Dropcams in my businesses for over a year and have been very pleased with them,” another user says. “It’s been a nightmare though since Nest took over.” At least half a dozen other users noted in one-star reviews of Dropcam’s app that they think the product changed for the worse when Nest took over. “Dropcam isn’t what it used to be,” one user said.

The app has some four-star and five-star reviews. These reviews compare the Dropcam app to the Nest app. “4 stars only because compared to its future replacement, the Nest app, this one seems great. Use it as long as you can till you’re forced into the Nest app,” one user says.

On Google’s Android Store, Dropcam has a 4-star rating, but has a comparable number of one-star and two-star reviews.

Interestingly enough, the first thing you see when you visit Dropcam’s App Store description is text stating that “We recommend downloading the Nest app for a better way to watch your Dropcam video.” There’s also mention by the company that “there are still a few features in the Dropcam app that aren’t in the Nest app yet. So until we add control by location, email alerts, and video sharing to the Nest app, we’ll keep the Dropcam app up and running.”

We’ve reached out to Nest for comment.

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