Withings Home Review: New Apple TV App and Baby Monitor Features Make a Solid Camera Even Better

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Roughly a year ago, popular accessory company Withings introduced its Home security camera and air quality monitor, giving users an easy way to keep tabs on their homes with video streaming, push alerts for activity, and cloud storage of footage. Withings has continued to improve the Home with software updates since the launch, and several recent additions such as an app for the new Apple TV and a Baby Monitor mode have made the user experience even better.


Priced at $200, the Withings Home is a 5-megapixel HD camera with a 135-degree field of view, night vision, sensors for motion, sound, and air quality, and more. A companion iOS app [Direct Link] makes it easy to control the camera, receive alerts, and monitor video, audio, and other data from the Home.

The Home is a fairly attractive looking camera about the size of a coffee mug, with a wood grain shell that can be rotated to physically cover the device's camera to eliminate any potential concerns about accidental activation of the camera at unwanted times. The lower portion of the main body can glow in a variety of colors to indicate device status or act as a nightlight.


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Article Link: Withings Home Review: New Apple TV App and Baby Monitor Features Make a Solid Camera Even Better
 

nitramluap

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
231
513
With Nest ignoring HomeKit and WatchOS, I'm looking to get rid of my Nest ecosystem of products and this may be a good place to start. It's a good alternative to my DropCam.
This is exactly what I did when Nest ruined Dropcam. While the Withings Home is not HomeKit compatible, it does have a good iOS suite (iPhone, TV & Watch) and the notifications are smarter IMHO.
 

nitramluap

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
231
513
Why does everything need a monthly subscription?
The beauty of the Withings solution is that you get a functional animated (but low resolution) clip of motion/sound (but without the audio) triggers with their free service. And they show up on the iOS apps (not TV though...) and even the Apple Watch (a small animated clip).

With Nest, the free service simply sends you a notification... and that's all. No images. By the time you've loaded the app, whatever triggered the motion alert has gone and you're clueless as to what triggered it.

The Withings has a couple of downsides: the optics aren't as sharp as the Dropcam/Nestcam, especially in low light; the night vision LED array isn't as bright as the Nestcam/Dropcam; and when you 'zoom in' on a section of the image, it won't adjust the exposure - because it's actually always 'recording' the full frame, whereas the Dropcam/Nestcam image will only record what you've zoomed in to. This can be a pro or a con but it would be nice to have some control over it.

For example, if I have a scene with a window to the outside which is over exposed and I want to see what's going on outside, if I zoom in with the Withings Home it remains overexposed. If I zoom in with a Dropcam/Nestcam, it drops the exposure down so the new crop is properly exposed.
 
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BradWould

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
272
252
Nova Scotia, Canada
Aesthetically pleasing..... is that a speaker grille at the top as well, or just microphones to pick up sounds?
I believe the top is where the air quality sensors are. I almost bought this Black Friday. I've been looking at it for a while now. Best Buy had them for 159$. With a 249$ price tag in Canada I can't believe I passed on the deal.
 

tranceme

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2006
84
33
California, US
Why does everything need a monthly subscription?
Yeah, this is why Foscams are popular. You don't have cloudify your personal home video streams. Most of people I know are not comfortable with video of what's in their house going to a could provider. These companies have the ability to view your video streams. Sure, they say they don't have access. But, you never know what kid they have in the NOC viewing your info.
 

gijoeinla

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
679
485
Los Angeles, CA
This pretty much says where the new Apple TV is going...

Apps together with peripheral devices is going to the big story behind Apple TV much like how the iPhone was dinged in its early days.

I'm impressed.
 
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kis

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2007
1,702
765
Switzerland
With Nest ignoring HomeKit and WatchOS, I'm looking to get rid of my Nest ecosystem of products and this may be a good place to start. It's a good alternative to my DropCam.
Have you ever used a Homekit-enabled product? I went out to buy a Hue bridge the day they released the new version. Homekit worked for 10 days then crapped out and hasn't been fixed yet. The same happened to thousands of people. As much as I like Apple and their products: cloud services aren't their strength.

Apart from my observations that homekit is pretty flaky, it also doesn't really offer that much functionality, IMO.

Also: you bought a Google product and then expect Homekit integration?
 

kis

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2007
1,702
765
Switzerland
Yeah, this is why Foscams are popular. You don't have cloudify your personal home video streams. Most of people I know are not comfortable with video of what's in their house going to a could provider. These companies have the ability to view your video streams. Sure, they say they don't have access. But, you never know what kid they have in the NOC viewing your info.
Get a Netatmo Welcome instead. What I don't like about the Home apart from the fact that it uploads your home footage to the cloud, is that it doesn't support IFTTT.
 

DMVillain

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
620
371
Overall, I like my "Home". My only beef with it is the lack of a geofence feature. All my other HomeKit products have this capability. I am inundated with notifications about my own movement when I am home. I would like to see a feature that silences or provides only certain notifications to trusted phones while within the geofence.
 

MarkCollette

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2003
1,555
32
Toronto, Canada
Is there a mode to make this not send video to the cloud, and only to the AppleTV / iPad / iPhone? I just want a night vision camera and air sensor for when I'm at home in the next room, training the baby to sleep on its own without being picked-up.
 

nitramluap

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
231
513
Get a Netatmo Welcome instead. What I don't like about the Home apart from the fact that it uploads your home footage to the cloud, is that it doesn't support IFTTT.
The advantage of cloud recording: if someone breaks into my house and steals everything, including the camera, I can still ID them and phone the police. He'd have to cut the power and Internet before breaking in.

This is the beauty of choice. Don't want cloud recording? Buy a camera that doesn't support it. For me, cloud recording that isn't Google was what mattered.
 
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ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,159
5,907
Toronto, ON
Also: you bought a Google product and then expect Homekit integration?
I bought into the Nest ecosystem when all of their products were sold at the Apple Store and were not only working well within the Apple ecosystem but actually giving Apple preference over Android. It all looked great until Google bought them.

It became clear that they turned their back on Apple which feels like a betrayal because many of their original customers were acquired through Apple.

That'll cost them as Apple customers like myself realize this and move to friendlier pastures.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,159
5,907
Toronto, ON
This is exactly what I did when Nest ruined Dropcam. While the Withings Home is not HomeKit compatible, it does have a good iOS suite (iPhone, TV & Watch) and the notifications are smarter IMHO.
I'm not even sure what the camera could do with HomeKit either. It's more about what ecosystem I want to belong to and invest in. The Nest ecosystem has made it clear that they won't be supporting HomeKit. So goodbye Nest.

I'll invest in August, Phillips and Withings and hopefully soon replace my thermostat, smoke detector and camera with HomeKit equivalents.
 

peteo

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2007
224
134
The advantage of cloud recording: if someone breaks into my house and steals everything, including the camera, I can still ID them and phone the police. He'd have to cut the power and Internet before breaking in.

This is the beauty of choice. Don't want cloud recording? Buy a camera that doesn't support it. For me, cloud recording that isn't Google was what mattered.
You can set up an IFTTH to auto copy the video/image to drop box or google drive. But your probably made of money so you don't care
 

razorme

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
159
1
Calgary, AB
Why does everything need a monthly subscription?
I bought Piper cameras for this very reason. No monthly fees & uploads full video to the cloud along with push notifications when there is an issue. A bit pricer to begin with but no fees.
 
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