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

The Sightline and event history views are optimized for mobile, so they’re only available when you’re using the Nest app on a phone or tablet. Just tap on your camera’s video preview or its icon on the Nest app home screen to see the live video stream and Sightline.

When you hold your phone or tablet vertically in portrait mode,
you’ll see the video stream at the top of the screen with the
activity timeline and snapshots below.

You can see at a glance when events happened. If you’re a Google Nest Aware subscriber, you can use the timeline to look
through all of your recorded video history. 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

If you want to save a video clip, create a timelapse, or
download or share your video, see the following article.

How to create a video clip or timelapse >

Nest app sightline

How to use the Sightline view

Activity Track

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, while gaps mean
your camera didn’t notice any activity. 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 usually means that your camera
    detected motion in one of your Activity Zones or activity your
    camera thought was important, like a person walking into view. There also
    may have been a security, smoke or carbon monoxide event that was
    recorded by your camera. The color  matches the color given to the
    Activity Zone when it was created. Each camera can have up to
    four Activity Zones.
Slight light activity

Note: If you see a dark bar across the activity track, your camera was turned off or disconnected from Wi-Fi and wasn’t able to stream video during that time. When you try to skip to that time, you’ll also see a message in the video window that will let you know your camera was offline.

Activity snapshots

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see snapshots of what
your camera saw at the beginning of the event when your
camera detected sound or motion. The snapshots will be
zoomed into the action so it’s easier to see what
was happening.

If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you can tap on the
snapshot to jump to the event in the video window. If you
don’t have Nest Aware, tapping will open up a larger screen capture.

activity snap shot


How to use event history view

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.

  1. On the Nest app home screen, tap on your camera’s
    video preview or its icon. When you hold your phone
    vertically in portrait mode, you’ll see a video
    stream if you have a Nest Aware subscription or a snapshot at the top of the screen and the Sightline
    view with the activity timeline and
    snapshots below.
  2. To switch from the Sightline view to event history
    view, tap the event history Event history button icon.

    • To switch back to Sightline view, tap the
       Sightline  icon Slightline button.

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

  1. Tap the Filter  icon 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.
  2. Select the types of events you want to see.
  3. Tap Done.
  4. Wait a few seconds. 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.

    How to create a video clip >

event history screen

Useful camera options and tips

Talk and listen

You’ll see the Talk and Listen microphone button when
you’re watching your camera’s live stream. Talk and Listen
lets you speak with anyone near your camera.

Note: If you don’t see the microphone button, tap Go live go live icon
and it will appear. See the section below for more details.

How to listen and talk to people with your Nest
camera >

Slightline talk


Go live

When you’re reviewing your video or event history, the
microphone button will change to a Go live go live icon   button.
Tapping it will let you quickly switch to your camera’s live video stream.

Note: You’ll only see this button appear if you have a Nest Aware subscription and you’re
watching video saved to your video history.

go live



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 while in
portrait mode, tap the down arrow Nest down icon on the bar at the
bottom of the video window. Tap the arrow again Nest up icon 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:

How to keep your camera zoomed in with the Nest
app >

Zoom in on video feed


Landscape view

You can also make the video bigger by turning your phone sideways for Landscape view.
When you turn your phone sideways, the Activity track will be on the right of the screen
timeline and snapshots will disappear while the controls will be overlaid on the video.
Simply tap on the video to hide or show the controls.

Nest app showing video feed in landscape

Playback controls


If you have a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll be able to use
the playback controls to review your video history. Playback
controls are overlaid on top of the video. If you don’t see the
playback icons, tap on the video to make them appear. Tap again to hide the controls.

These are useful to quickly skip forward or back a little when you’re reviewing an event.

  • Tap the left arrow to quickly rewind 15 seconds.
  • Tap the right arrow to fast forward 15 seconds.
Nest cam video playback



Skip to a different day

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

  1. Select the Calendar thermostat schedule icon icon.
  2. You’ll see a date highlighted in blue - either today or a
    date in the past (if you’re already watching your video
    history). Tap the date you want to view. Unavailable
    dates will be greyed out.
  3. The video starts playing for the date you chose, at the
    same time you were viewing previously.
    Scroll up or down on your Sightline to go to a different time.
Nest app showing history calendar


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