That’s how my Blink cameras are. I bought some on Prime Day, but as soon as Wyze’s outdoor camera comes out, I plan to sell them on eBay. They seem to have practically abandoned the product since they were bought by Amazon. Other than ONE incremental upgrade of the camera, they’ve scrapped every single new product that was planned before the buyout, and they haven’t added any compelling new features or anything. By contrast, I’ve had my Wyze camera for about 2 months and they’ve already added several new (good!) features in that period of time.
It’s not a workaround at all. It’s the way the app functions. I agree that it isn’t the most straightforward user experience, and I know they’ve talked about redesigning the way that interactions happens, but that would be a GIANT overhaul of the app. Certainly not something that happens overnight, or even within a year necessarily. It’s certainly not unusable, though. Any new product is going to have some learning curve.
You definitely don’t have to do ANY of that to view the playback from the MicroSD card. You just go to the playback section and find it in the timeline. (Or with the new feature in beta, click from the 12-second clip to view it in the timeline. As I said, I agree that it’s not the most straightforward user experience, but it’s not rocket science either. Redesigning that would require a fairly significant reimagining of the app UX and probably the way the data is structured as well. I think they’re planning to do some of those things, but you act as if they can snap their fingers and suddenly have the most beautiful, well-thought-out, and perfectly intuitive user experience in the world. It takes a long time to refine these things, especially if they want to do it right without interrupting the experience for existing users.
I’m not sure what you’re even talking about here. This sounds like a weird issue related to Android or something maybe. My videos don’t show up anywhere near my family photos, unless I actively choose to download them to my photo roll.
What functionality? Unlimited cloud recordings? You can get that already (though it will be a premium feature) if you want to download the beta app.
Now you CAN “just choose a motion alert and see the whole motion event” in the beta app. But even before that, it certainly wasn’t THAT difficult to cross-reference the timestamp. I agree it wasn’t as straightforward as it should be, but certainly not the kind of thing that would be a dealbreaker for me.
I’ve never needed to choose a time range to save. In general, I’m not saving many videos off the camera at all. They’re just so I can keep an eye on things, just in case. If I DID need to download a larger range, I’d remove the SD card and do it that way, but it’s not something I’ve had much need to do, so far. So it’s not a feature I’ve “wished for” or been disappointed about.
As for the “saved with pictures of their friends and family,” again, I’m not really even sure what you’re talking about. Since that doesn’t happen on iOS, it sounds like it may be something specific to the way Android’s file system works, but I’m not really sure. If so, you should complain to Google. But maybe other Android users can shed some light on this?
That is an option, but is a lot to explain to someone that isn’t experienced and would like it to work out of the box. It appears most people on here are experienced with technology, and don’t mind finding a workaround. I’m referring to those that really need something to just work, without needing to look online to figure out what’s wrong.
I’m using professional video surveillance software at my house, but it took me hours of research to set it up, and it’s still not working as good as I’d like. For my family and friends, I’m going to need to recommend something much easier. Wyze is right between my complicated video surveillance software and Ring / Nest. Ring / Nest are super easy, but expensive. My surveillance software is affordable, super powerful, but really complicated. Wyze is super affordable, somewhat powerful, and a little complicated.
So, whether it’s a workaround or not isn’t the issue, the problem is what could take seconds, can take hours with Wyze. Sure, removing the microSD card is an option, but that’s a complicated process for some people. Maybe they don’t even use a computer, and just use a tablet, that doesn’t take a microSD card. It’s just not a user friendly process.
I’m really glad they are going to allow the alert to go to the timeline. Between that, and the full motion capture cloud storage at the affordable price they’re offering, I’m going to be able to recommend Wyze to some people. It’ll work great most of the time, but in the case they need an hour’s worth of footage, they will need to call me to transfer the data for them, so they don’t need to take an hour to save the footage within the app.
This is something that should have been done within a year, in my opinion, but I’m also not an expert with design and development, so it’s totally possible I’m wrong on this. It just doesn’t sound right to me that person detection, a video doorbell, outdoor camera, smart bulb, smart plug, and sensors have all been added or are coming soon, yet the super basic functionality that I’ve mentioned still isn’t ready.
I’ll need to check to see what’s going on with Google Photos. Maybe I’m incorrect and everything is not mixed together.
So, the basic functionality I’m referring to is the ability to select a motion alert, see the whole event, download the whole event, and also choose a time frame to download. It doesn’t matter if it’s connected to the cloud or not. That’s an extra feature that is helpful, but not necessary with the microSD card.
Again, I’m really glad they are adding the feature where you can jump to the start of the motion event in the timeline. They’re definitely going in the right direction. It’s just taking a while.
I will add a general comment here: Wyze runs a very “lean and mean” company. Pricing products as they do doesn’t allow for a huge staff. There are tons of product and feature requests (just take a look at the #wishlist). Choosing which of them to work on first is not an easy task and isn’t strictly driven by user votes (although that is a factor). Other factors include ease of implementation (which isn’t always obvious to the user), cost, integration with other features, security concerns, etc.
My personal opinion (I’m not a Wyze employee) is that for a company such as this, they are doing a pretty good job of keeping the feature set moving forward, even if not at a pace to most of us would desire. And they do so with more transparency than I’ve seen from any other company.
If you’re trying to download hours of video off of those cameras over Wi-Fi, it’s not going to be a “seconds” operation in the first place. I know that from trying to download a 10-minute time lapse video from my camera. It timed out several times because iOS only lets the app work in the background for so long. I had to keep the app open the whole time and make sure my phone didn’t automatically turn off.
I’m not sure if that’s because of the processor in the camera or the RAM or the wireless connection, but regardless, it’s a budget camera. It’s not a smartphone or a laptop. It’s not built for speed. It has the hardware it needs to get its job done, and very little extra.
Another reason is that the file architecture on the SD card recordings is such that it records a series of 60-second video clips. That means that if you want to select a range and download it all, it’s going to have to stitch them together first. These cameras don’t have the kinds of processors or RAM that your phone or laptop have, so that may not even be possible. (I don’t know for sure.) To the extent that it is possible, there’s a good chance that it will at least take forever. I’d much rather take out the SD card and deal with it on my laptop if I need to deal with a huge amount of video data like that. What I’m saying is, this may be a hardware limitation that will never happen, even if they wanted to devote the dev resources to it.
I suspect the “super basic functionality” you’re talking about isn’t as “super basic” as you think it is. And personally, I’m glad that they’re devoting more resources to adding new features and functionality than they are to polishing functionality that already works.
I definitely agree that there are areas where the user experience can improve, but everything you’re talking about can already be done. It’s just not as finessed as it could be. Between the two, I’d rather have a camera that can do more things, even if it means I have to do a little research to learn how to use it.
I don’t agree that the features you’re talking about are things that “most people would expect.” While they’d be nice additions, they’re certainly not priorities for me, at least.
I’m having trouble understanding what the problem is though, because they received funding, and people are willing to pay for better service (such as the cloud feature they are adding). Also, they are developing many new products. So, it doesn’t look like the problem is financial.
They said their CEO and software engineers were helping with shipping. That’s concerning. If they need to take their highest paid and most qualified people to assist with shipping, and can’t get someone else to handle that work, then that’s really concerning.
Thank you for explaining the possible technical limitations of the camera. If it can’t handle downloading even a ten minute clip, that is concerning, but offering continuous cloud storage should work, assuming the camera is able to handle that. Do you think it could handle a constant upload of video to the cloud? I’ll need to check, but some might have this set up using RTSP for continuous recording, so looking at their experience might help us understand if it’s capable of it.
Regarding what I’m considering super basic functionality, we disagree, and that is alright. Personally, I’m not able to fully recommend a camera that won’t just work out of the box, allowing someone to see a full motion event and download it, with the option of choosing a time range (since someone on a property can trigger multiple motion events, and saving one continuous time period would make sense in that case, especially if it’s needed for legal or insurance reasons). If there is a hardware limitation on the time range like you mentioned, that’s where continuous cloud storage can help.
I know a bit about development, but I don’t know much about designing firmware architectures and whatnot, especially when it comes to devices with inherent hardware limitations like these.
I’m pretty sure that the “Complete Motion Capture” events are capped at 5 minutes. (I haven’t seen Wyze confirm that, but in my testing, that seems to be the case.) However, there’s no cooldown period, so if you had 10 minutes of continuous motion, you’d end up with two subsequent 5-minute recordings in the cloud, with one starting immediately after the other one ended.
I will say that the one time my camera recorded a 5-minute event, it didn’t upload successfully – but it IS still a beta feature. If it failed because of hardware limitations, they may need to lower the maximum event length a bit more – but hey, that’s why it’s still in beta.
Streaming works differently, but I don’t know any specifics. I know it’s possible to continuously stream. (You can do this by looking at the camera’s live view, for example.) If it’s only live-streaming, it doesn’t really need to save anything in its RAM for very long. Just long enough to send it off, and then it can immediately purge it. But when it records events and saves them in the cloud, it’s storing the whole video event in the camera’s RAM before it uploads it. It doesn’t “live-stream” it to Wyze’s servers. So that’s a fundamental difference.
Thank you for the information and for explaining the problem with saving and then uploading the video, vs uploading the constant stream.
So, if there is a five minute maximum for each cloud motion clip, and it can restart again, that is reasonable and should work for most people. If someone is going to need more than that, then a continuous cloud feature would make more sense for them, and assuming the hardware is really capable, I’d expect Wyze to add that option.
I doubt they’ll offer a “continuous cloud” option, if you mean 24/7 cloud recording. It’s theoretically possible, but if they did that, they’d have to change how the server handles the incoming video. Also, most people probably wouldn’t WANT that. I certainly wouldn’t. That would be a LOT of data to be sending to the cloud CONSTANTLY, especially if you have multiple cameras. And not everyone has unlimited data. Comcast caps its customers at 1TB/month. One camera sending video to the cloud 24/7 would probably use about half of that (~500GB) in a month.
If they did that, they’d either need to live-stream it constantly and devote computing resources to it in the cloud, in order to save it, or the camera would constantly upload short clips (1-5 minutes.) Regardless, to give you what you want – the ability to splice the video at a certain time and download only that subset as a video file – they’d have to devote server resources to stitching or splicing the video, which is no small task. Doing that would probably not be a super quick process for you to download an event of indeterminate length that starts at an indeterminate time and ends at an indeterminate time. It can be done, but you’d at least have to wait several minutes for the server to process your video before you could download it in that way. I highly doubt they’re going to offer a feature like that. It would be expensive to set up and run, and I doubt there’s that many people who need it, especially since it can easily be done with free third-party software on your own computer.
As for whether you need more than that – it can still record an event with 10 minutes of continous motion, you just may have to download a few files to see everything that happens.
For most people, the 24/7 cloud recording isn’t necessary, but I’d like to see them offer it for those that need it. Thank you for making me aware of the technical situation that they would need to address if they were to offer this. It’s kind of the same problem with their new cloud feature though, because if the camera is taken during the motion event it wouldn’t have been uploaded to the cloud. So, although a five minute window is enough for most people, if the camera is stolen during the recording of the third minute, none would have been uploaded to the cloud.
Regarding the data usage, that’s a problem with each individual internet service provider. I’m glad that in my case there isn’t a data cap, but feel bad for those that need to worry about it.
Thank you again for the information and for the technical perspective.
I like the 12 s clip. It alerts me ( its purpose) to go to the SD recording to get the full recording. Right now we have to use the time stamp to find it, but they are working on a direct link, which I agree is needed. You do not need to download the 12 s clip. I just delete it after I direct to the SD or just delete if not relevant. Works for me with no hassle.
For those that just need a notification, the 12 second clip isn’t necessary, just a motion based notification. I’m not sure what made Wyze decide to set it up this way, but it certainly isn’t the most efficient. It is causing unnecessary delay for the customer, and unnecessary cloud storage costs for Wyze.
I’m hoping this is changed with their new cloud infrastructure that they said they are working on.
Thank you. I’m trying my best to have a balanced viewpoint. It’s understandable for a company to take time to progress, but when we see totally unrelated products being developed (such as a smart bulb and smart thermostat), with the CEO and software engineers assisting with the shipping process, and the most basic functionality still isn’t available, something is clearly wrong, even if it’s something as simple as not having the right priorities.