Nest x Yale smart lock becomes dumb with Nest Hub Max Preview Update bug

As powerful and as magical smart home products may seem, we have yet to achieve a level of reliability to make them truly foolproof. Sometimes, even something as simple as an Internet outage can render a product useless. Even more problematic, however, is when those problems come via software updates that should be fixing bugs or adding features instead. That's exactly what some owners of the Nest x Yale Lock experienced just recently, though, to be fair, those are pretty much the expected risks of being part of the Nest Hub Max's Preview Program.

If you want to live on the cutting edge of software updates, some products offer a Preview or Beta Testing program for you to join. Of course, that comes with the knowledge that you will be testing versions of the software not yet intended for mass consumption in exchange for seeing what's coming next before everyone else. Those previews do sometimes carry new interesting features but they may also be hiding some bugs inside.

That's the case here with the Nest x Yale Lock if it happens to be connected to a Nest Hub Max smart speaker enrolled in the device's Preview Program. A new update has pretty much rendered the smart lock useless as users were unable to use their apps to unlock the lock. It also caused guest codes to not be recognized.

Google, fortunately, knows about it and has an explanation for the cause. The buggy Preview Update forced the lock to connect to the Nest Hub Max for its Internet connection instead of directly connecting to a Wi-Fi network. This is how the Nest Hub Max works by design but it shouldn't be forcing other devices to do so unnecessarily.

Google also has a somewhat trivial fix that is also a tad inconvenient. It requires affected users to leave the Preview Program and wait for the public and stable build of the firmware to be reinstalled on the device. While such incidents may be expected from preview or beta software, it still highlights how fragile these smart home devices still are, which can be a frightening thought considering how we've started to become more dependent on them.