Amazon is ending support for its Cloud Cam security camera and replacing it with a free Blink Mini. The move was first reported by MacRumors late last week, and The Verge got a copy of an email issued to clients informing them of the change. Cloud Cam users will be allowed to use their cameras and download video until December 2nd, after which all recordings will be destroyed and the gear will stop working. Customers who purchase the Cloud Cam Key Edition will lose the ability to link to smart locks, but they will receive a free fourth-generation Echo to replace it.
“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 wrote in an email that was also shared on Reddit.
“we will continue to offer innovative smart home security solutions for our customers through Amazon’s Ring and Blink brands,” Amazon said in a statement to MacRumors. It also stated that consumers who are “still actively using their Cloud Cam” will receive Blink Mini cameras for free, though it’s unclear if this is a formal requirement for receiving the free replacement.
Before the December 2nd deadline, Cloud Cam owners will get an email with instructions for redeeming their free Blink Mini and (for Key Edition owners) Echo. The Blink Mini will include a one-year Blink Subscription Plus subscription, which costs $10 per month or $100 per year. Many Blink features, such as instant access to movies and motion-activated recording, need a subscription — either to Plus or the $3 per month single-camera Basic plan. Cloud Cam required a paid subscription for advanced capabilities, while it did give some free alternatives on the Blink Mini that required payment.
The Cloud Cam series launched in 2017 and was phased down in late 2019 after Amazon acquired Blink and Ring, two security camera companies. Amazon is now following a well-established trend of companies bricking smart home products because they don’t want to support its ecosystem any more. Customers will not be completely without recourse as a result of the change, but they will still be stuck with obsolete hardware that they may have purchased just a few years ago.