Amazon is ending support for its Cloud Cam security camera and giving owners a free Blink Mini to replace it. Late last week, MacRumors wrote about the change, and The Verge got a copy of an email sent to customers about the change.
Cloud Cam owners will be able to use and download video from their cameras until December 2, when all recordings will be deleted and the hardware will stop working. Customers with the Cloud Cam Key Edition will also lose the ability to connect to smart locks, but they can get a free fourth-generation Echo to replace that feature.
“As the number of Alexa-powered smart home devices keeps growing, we’re focusing on Ring, Blink, and other technologies that make your home smarter and make your daily tasks easier. Because of this, we’ve decided to stop supporting Amazon Cloud Cam and the apps that go with it,” Amazon said in an email that was also posted on Reddit.
Amazon told MacRumors in a statement that “we will continue to offer innovative smart home security solutions for our customers through Amazon’s Ring and Blink brands.”
It also said that users who are “still actively using their Cloud Cam” will get Blink Mini cameras. Jocelyn Shaw, a spokesperson for Amazon’s smart home division, told The Verge that Cloud Cam users who have been active in the last six months will be able to get replacement hardware. Customers will get one Blink Mini for each active Cloud Cam they were using, or one Blink Mini and an Echo for each Cloud Cam Key Edition.
Cloud Cam owners will get an email with instructions on how to get their free Blink Mini and, if they have the Key Edition, a free Echo by December 2. The Blink Mini will come with a one-year subscription to Blink Subscription Plus, which usually costs $10 per month or $100 per year. For many Blink features, like quick access to videos and motion-activated recording, you need a subscription, either to Plus or to the $3 per month Basic plan for a single camera. For advanced features, Cloud Cam also required a paid subscription, but it did have some free options that the Blink Mini didn’t have.
The first Cloud Cam came out in 2017, and the last one will stop working at the end of 2019. This is because Amazon bought the security camera companies Blink and Ring. Now, Amazon is following a well-known trend in which companies no longer want to support the ecosystem of smart home hardware “bricking” the hardware. Customers won’t be left with no options because of the replacement, but they’ll still be stuck with the hardware they bought just a few years ago that won’t work.