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You'll Soon Be Able to Check Your Home Security Camera From a Galaxy Watch

It hasn't fully rolled out, so you're still tied to the phone for now.

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A photo of the Galaxy Watch 5
The Galaxy Watch 5 will soon allow you to view security cameras through SmartThings.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Samsung announced an upcoming update to SmartThings that lets you peek in on a security camera feed directly from your smartwatch. The update will roll out to Galaxy Watch devices, including the Galaxy Watch 4, Watch 4 Classic, Galaxy Watch 5, and Watch 5 Pro.

The update promises to make checking in on security cameras “more convenient,” but only if you’re using Samsung’s SmartThings app to access your smart home, and only if you have Google’s Nest devices or Amazon’s Ring cameras. The press release mentions being able to “swipe right” from the main watch face to access the SmartThings shortcuts. But after updating my SmartThings app on the Galaxy Watch 4 to version 1.1.08, I could not get the camera preview to work with my wired Nest doorbell camera. The app still instructs me to check my phone for a streaming preview.

Samsung says WebRTC is the streaming protocol that makes all this possible. If you use a doorbell camera on either platform, you can also talk to guests through the watch. Android’s Nearby Share file-sharing protocol and Google’s Stadia (RIP) also use WebRTC within their respective backends.

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A few other updates are coming to Samsung SmartThings in addition to this streaming-to-a-smartwatch capability. The software update will expand the list of devices you can control from the watch, adding air purifiers, thermostats, and blinds to the mix. And if you have connected air conditioning, lights, speakers, or a Samsung TV, you’ll also be able to control those through the Galaxy Watch.

Even though Samsung and Google operate within the same Android ecosystem, they often work together to work apart. To its credit, Samsung’s SmartThings offers all the same integrations with the smart home that the Google Home app does, and then some if you’re already a Samsung device user. You might even prefer the SmartThings extras or user interface compared to Google Home, which has a UI makeover still in beta.