Amazon is killing its Alexa-connected Cloud Cam, will replace customers’ dead devices with a Blink Mini

Amazon is shutting down its smart home camera, the Cloud Cam, and its companion apps, the company informed customers via a recent email. Launched in 2017, the nearly five-year-old Cloud Cam was one of Amazon’s first entries into the area of Alexa-connected home security devices, arriving just ahead of the retailer’s acquisition of connected camera and doorbell maker, Blink, and soon thereafter, smart doorbell maker Ring. Now, Amazon says it’s now focusing its efforts on Ring and Blink, which is why it no longer intends to support Cloud Cam.

“With your help over the last five years, Cloud Cam has served as a reliable indoor security camera and a hub for Amazon Key-compatible smart locks that work with Alexa,” the email to existing customers states. “As the number of Alexa smart home devices continues to grow, we are focusing efforts on Ring, Blink, and other technologies that make your home smarter and simplify your everyday routines.”

The email goes on to inform customers that, starting on Dec. 2, 2022, they’ll no longer be able to use Cloud Cam or its associated apps. Until then, users will still be able to download their video recordings. But as of the shutdown date, all video history will be deleted and the service will no longer function.

Fortunately for impacted customers, they won’t just be left with a useless device as a result of the shutdown, after having paid over $100 to purchase their Cloud Cam smart camera. Instead, Amazon is doing the right thing in this case by offering a replacement device for free. The company says it will provide Cloud Cam users with a complimentary Blink Mini and one-year Blink Subscription Plus Plan. The Blink Mini is an indoor security camera with 1080p HD video, 2.4 GHz Wifi connectivity, night vision, motion detection, two-way audio, and, like Cloud Cam, it works with Alexa devices.

These specs are similar to Cloud Cam, which had also offered 1080p HD video, night vision, and two-way audio. However, Cloud Cam’s subscription plan differs from Blink’s. Today, Cloud Cam users can choose from three priced tiers of $6.99, $9.99, or $19.99 per month, based on how many cameras they have (3, 5, or 10) and how long they want to store video clips — either a week, two weeks or a month, respectively. Blink’s subscriptions, meanwhile, include a free tier without video history, or a $3/mo or $10/mo paid plan — Basic or Plus — each of which offers a 60-day unlimited video history. But only the Plus subscription allows for more than one camera.

Amazon said it will send out a separate email ahead of Cloud Cam’s shutdown to inform customers how to claim their complimentary replacement device.

In the meantime, Cloud Cam users can back up their videos from the “Recorded Clips” section in the app’s top-right menu. They’ll need to click on each video and then click the Download icon to save the video. They can also delete recordings from here or from Amazon’s “Manage Your Content and Devices” online hub.

 

Source: TechCrunch

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