Why it matters: Google has announced that it will be temporarily reducing the quality of videos captured by its Nest cameras to help ease the new pressure being put on the internet. With so much of the world now under lockdown, more people are using internet-connected devices than ever before, and networks are groaning under the strain.
"In response to community issues caused by COVID-19, we're temporarily adjusting your camera quality and bandwidth in an effort to conserve internet resources," Google wrote in an email to Nest customers. "With so many people working and attending school from home, we're stretching our resources in ways we haven't before—including the internet."
Nest users in the US who’ve adjusted their Nest cameras' quality and bandwidth settings higher than default will have them rolled back to default by Google in the next few days. If they are set lower than the default, nothing will change, and no other settings are being altered.
Google will also be reducing the resolution for photo slideshows on Nest smart displays and Chromecasts.
Users will be notified by the Nest app when the change comes into effect. It isn’t mandatory, though; customers can manually revert the settings back above default if they wish.
Google said that once the pressure on networks is eased, it will roll the settings back to what they were before—assuming users don’t do it themselves first.
Last month saw Google reduce YouTube’s standard video quality to try and relieve network congestion. Amazon, Apple, and Netflix have also reduced their video quality in Europe.