Amazon is now replacing customers’ discontinued Cloud Cams with new Blink Mini devices • TechCrunch
Amazon is now offering to replace customers’ discontinued Cloud Cam smart cameras with a new Blink Mini following its decision earlier this year to shut down its Cloud Cam line of products and end support for the device’s associated mobile apps. At the time of the retailer’s May 2022 announcement, Amazon said it would email customers with information on how to order their replacement products, which would also include a one-year Blink Subscription Plus Plan.
However, those emails did not immediately arrive, worrying customers that Amazon had either misled them or perhaps they had missed the important email when it came.
As it turns out, those emails have only now begun to go out. Over the past few days, Amazon Cloud Cam owners report they’ve received instructions on how to proceed to order their replacement Blink product.
The email thanks customers for their support and informs them that, for every active Cloud Cam device they own, Amazon will offer users a complimentary Blink Mini and a one-year Blink Subscription Plus Plan, which covers all the devices under a Blink account.
The email then details which Cloud Cam products Amazon identified as active on the user’s account and explains how to make the purchase using a promo code. The company says customers have until January 26, 2023, to redeem their code. Each order only allows for one promo code, so customers with larger Cloud Cam setups will have to check out separately for each device they intend to replace.
The replacement product, Blink Mini, offers an indoor security camera with 1080p HD video, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity, night vision, motion detection and two-way audio. It also works with Alexa. Those specs are similar to Cloud Cam, which had also offered 1080p HD video, night vision and two-way audio.
Amazon customers can also recycle their old cameras by requesting a free UPS shipping label through the Amazon Recycling Progam, the email notes.
After purchasing the product, customers will then need to log into their Amazon account associated with their email and place the order for their Blink Subscription, which will show free at checkout. (A Blink account is required to activate your subscription plan — so wait until that’s set up first or you’ll be charged full-price.)
This subscription differs from those historically offered to Cloud Cam users, who had been able to choose from three priced tiers of $6.99, $9.99 or $19.99 per month, based on how many cameras they have (three, five or 10) and how long they want to store video clips — either a week, two weeks or a month, respectively. The Blink Subscription Plus Plan is a $10 per month (or $100/year) paid plan that offers a 60-day unlimited video history for an unlimited number of Blink devices, instead of just one.
Of course, those former Cloud Cam customers who are replacing just one camera could downgrade to the $3 per month (or $30/year) Blink Subscription Basic Plan after their free year is up.
The company is also giving its customers time to export their data from the Cloud Cam platform before it’s gone for good. Starting on December 2, 2022, customers will no longer be able to access Cloud Cam or its associated apps. Up until then, customers can download their available video recordings if they choose. But after that date, all video history will be deleted, Amazon warns.
To export their content, customers will need to click on each video from the “Recorded Clips” section in the app and then click the Download icon to save the recording.
Amazon said its decision to kill the Cloud Cam, first launched in 2017, came about because the company’s smart home lineup of Alexa-connected devices had grown over the years and it has decided to focus its efforts on other products.
“With your help over the last five years, Cloud Cam has served as a reliable indoor security camera and a hub for Amazon Key-compatible smart locks that work with Alexa,” the initial email to Cloud Cam customers had explained. “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.”
To find the email about replacements, search your inbox for a message from “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the subject line “An important reminder about your Cloud Cam.”