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Amazon is ending support for its Cloud Cam security camera and offering owners a free Blink Mini to replace it. MacRumors noted the change late last week, and obtained a copy of an email sent to customers announcing the change. Cloud Cam owners will be able to use their cameras and download video until December 2nd of this year, after which all recordings will be deleted and the hardware will no longer function. Customers with the Cloud Cam Key Edition will also lose the ability to connect to smart locks, although they can get a free fourth-generation Echo to replace the functionality.
“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. Therefore, we have decided to no longer continue support for Amazon Cloud Cam and its companion apps,” Amazon said in its email, which was also posted on Reddit.
In a statement to MacRumors, Amazon added that “we will continue to offer innovative smart home security solutions for our customers through Amazon’s Ring and Blink brands.” It also specified that it will give Blink Mini cameras to users who are “still actively using their Cloud Cam,” although it’s not clear if that’s a formal criteria for getting the free replacement.
Cloud Cam owners will be emailed instructions for redeeming their free Blink Mini and (for Key Edition owners) Echo before the December 2nd deadline. The Blink Mini will come with a one-year subscription to Blink Subscription Plus, which typically costs $10 per month or $100 per year. A subscription — either to Plus or the $3 per month single-camera Basic plan — is required for many Blink features, including rapid access to videos and motion-activated recording. Cloud Cam also required a paid subscription for advanced features, although it offered some free options that require payment on the Blink Mini.
The Cloud Cam lineup launched in 2017 and wound down in late 2019 after Amazon acquired the security camera makers Blink and Ring. Now, Amazon is following a well-established pattern of companies bricking smart home hardware because they no longer want to support its ecosystem. Customers won’t be left completely without recourse thanks to the replacement — but they’ll still end up with some useless hardware that they may have bought just a few years ago.