How to use Sightline and event history to watch your camera’s video

Sightline and event history are views of your Nest camera’s video history that are optimized for mobile, so they’re only available when you use the Nest app on your phone or tablet.

  • With Sightline, you’ll see a timeline that’s marked with activity your camera has picked up.
  • With event history, you’ll see a list of activity events your camera has picked up.
  • If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you can look through all your camera’s video saved to the cloud.
  • If you don’t have a subscription, you won’t have any recorded video, but you can still see snapshots of events that happened in the past 3 hours.

Switch between Sightline and event history views

Once you open your camera’s live video stream and video history in the Nest app, you can switch between Sightline and event history views.

  1. Open the Nest app.

  2. On the home screen, tap your camera’s video preview or its icon. If the camera is streaming live video, the live stream will appear at the top of the screen.

  3. Your camera’s Sightline or event history will appear.

    • To switch from the Sightline view to event history view, tap Event history Event history button.

    • To switch from event history to Sightline view, tap Sightline Slightline button.

event history screen

Use Sightline and event history to see recorded video

Sightline

Activity track

Slight light activity

Swipe your finger up or down the activity track to quickly fast forward or rewind.

The dots and bars on the activity track highlight when your camera saw or heard something happen. Tap on any of the dots or bars to jump to the beginning of the event.

  • A dot usually means your camera noticed a short event.

  • A longer bar means it noticed activity over a longer period of time.

  • A gray dot or bar means that your camera detected motion or sound outside of your camera’s Activity Zones.

  • A colored dot or bar can mean a few different things:

    • Your camera detected motion in one of your Activity Zones. The color matches the color given to the Activity Zone when it was created.

    • Your camera detected motion it thought was important, like a person walking into view.

    • Your camera detected sound  it thought was important, like a person talking.

Gaps with no activity

If you see gaps in your camera’s Sightline, it will tell you whether it was because the camera was off or offline, or because there was no activity detected.

  • If you have an EBR subscription (Nest Aware or Nest Aware Plus), you’ll see dark gray gaps in your camera’s Sightline between events. This is normal.

  • If you have a Nest Aware Plus subscription, after 10 days you’ll see gaps in your camera’s Sightline. This is because the app will remove video that contains no activity, so you’ll only see video clips of activity.

  • If you have a 1st gen Nest Aware subscription, you’ll only see gaps in your camera’s Sightline if your camera was turned off or was offline.

You can learn more about Event-Based Recording for Nest cameras in our help center.

Activity snapshots

activity snap shot

Whenever your camera has detected sound or motion, you’ll see snapshots of what your camera saw at the beginning of the event in Sightline.

The snapshots zoom into the action to easily see what happened.

Event history

Event history shows you an overview of what your camera has detected, like motion, sound, or doorbell rings, so that you can easily view what has happened at a glance. 

You’ll see a video snapshot, activity name, and time the event occurred.

If you only want to see certain events, you can set a filter:

  1. Tap Filter  Filter icon to filter activity by motion, sound, and person.

  • If you have a Google Nest Hello, you can also filter activity by doorbell ring. Nest Hello’s motion and sound alerts are off by default, but the event history view will still show the activity.
  • If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you can also get Activity Zone, familiar face, and emergency events.
  1. Select the types of events you want to see.

  2. Tap Done.

  3. There may be a short delay until events are filtered. If you want to create a video clip event, it’s easy to do in the event history view.

Useful camera options and tips

Talk and listen

Slightline talk

Talk and listen appears when you’re watching your camera’s live video stream. 

Tap Talk and listen, then speak into your phone’s microphone to talk with anyone near your camera. Tap it again to turn off your microphone.

Note: If you don’t see this button, Tap Go live go live icon and it should appear along with the live video stream.

Talk and listen to people with Nest camera

Go live

Go live go live icon appears when you’re reviewing your saved video. Tap it to switch to your camera’s live video stream.

Zoom

Zoom in on video feed

If you want to see more closeup detail, you can zoom in and out of your video at any time. 

Just pinch on the video with two fingers to zoom in or out. Move your fingers apart to zoom in, or move them together to zoom out. 

You can also drag your finger around the video screen to pan up, down, left and right.

If you want to make the video window bigger or smaller while in portrait mode:

  • Tap Arrow pointing down on the bar at the bottom of the video window to make it bigger. 
  • Tap Arrow pointing up to snap the video window back to its original size.

You can also change a setting to keep your camera zoomed-in all the time.

Landscape view

Nest app showing video feed in landscape

You can also make the video bigger by turning the phone sideways for Landscape view.

When you turn your phone sideways, the activity track is on the right side of the screen timeline and snapshots disappear.

The controls are overlaid over the video. Tap on the video to show or hide the controls.

Playback controls

Nest cam video playback

If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you can use the playback controls to quickly skip forward or back a little when you’re reviewing an event.

 Playback controls are overlaid on top of the video. If the playback icons don’t show up, tap on the video to make them appear. Tap again to hide the controls.

  • Tap the left arrow to quickly rewind 15 seconds.

  • Tap the right arrow to fast forward 15 seconds.

Skip to a different day

Nest app showing history calendar

With a Nest Aware subscription, you can jump directly to a particular date to start watching your video history.

  1. Select Calendar thermostat schedule icon.
  2. Tap the date you want to view. The currently selected date is highlighted in blue. Unavailable dates are greyed out.
  3. When the video starts playing for the date you chose, it will start at the same time you were viewing the previous day. Scroll up or down on your Sightline to go to a different time.
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