Welcome to the community. I don’t work for, speak for, nor represent Wyze, but I do know a lot about them and can answer some of your questions.
That has not been taken away. Every camera can live stream for free for unlimited time, while other big companies charge you to view a live stream or limit you to something like 5 minutes max. Wyze does not do this. Wyze also doesn’t charge for notifications. Every camera supports getting free motion and sound detection notifications (minimum of at least once every 5 minutes, sometimes more often depending on the camera model, etc), as well as options for various rules. No subscription required. Additionally, Wyze allows people to save all events or continuous recording to the SD card and notifications will bring you to a spot that will link you to the recording on the SD card if you select the playback or SD card (what it is called depends on the camera model. All of that has been available on nearly every camera the entire time. Even when Wyze moved away from their free cloud storage, they only did so on newer cameras. All the previous cameras that used to have that, still have that as an option for anyone. You have to enable Cam Plus Lite for $0/month, and you still get free 12-second cloud event videos, just as has always been possible on those cameras. They also provide free person detection notifications, including on some of those earlier camera models that never had it before.
They have stopped offering free cloud storage on new cameras, but that was not “taking it away” since those cameras never had it in the first place. And to be honest, it doesn’t really hurt their functionality. Even though I have Cam Plus Unlimited, I actually have some cameras that I don’t use cam plus with for various reasons, but the SD cards capture anything I need anyway and without any cooldown, etc. Honestly, I kind of wish Wyze would start doing more local AI detections like they started implementing in their Floodlight Pros so that detections aren’t so cloud dependent and we could rely more on the SD cards without taxing our routers/bandwidth (of course I have over 40 Wyze cams and 300+ total Wyze devices, so I definitely tax my routers more than most people).
Webview has never been free. It’s always required Cam Plus. There was a promotion for like 2 weeks last year where they told everyone they were going to allow them to try it out for like 1-2 weeks without the subscription, but that’s not the same thing. They were very clear it was just a promotion for their celebration so people could see what it was like. But other than that, it’s always been included with Cam Plus and Cam Protect. It didn’t start free and get taken away.
Incidentally, webview is getting some upgrades and improvements with a huge overhaul. It is currently accessible here:
It’s now called the web portal. They’re actively working on making it even better. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding and you didn’t get the notices that it moved? They tried to inform everyone. I’m guessing you missed that in the email, etc. Hopefully the above link helps you get back into webview as you were apparently able to do before? I’m hoping that’s the case.
I would prefer Wyze not do this. The only companies that do this, do so because they are ripping you off in the long term with high profit margins. I would prefer Wyze continue to offer hardware at near cost with low profit margins as they already do. Did you know they actually sell the OG cam in the red? They already sell the OG cam for less than it costs them to make it. Negative profit margins on that model. But it fits their overall value of making great tech affordable to everyone and is their entry level camera that gets other people interested in Wyze.
Still, Wyze does do giveaways and such occasionally with some of their events. So there is free hardware to be had. Some happen on their website during big promotions. Some happen on Discord during “Fireside” events, some happen on their TikTok Live events. The really big raffles are mostly on their website a few times per year though.
If I am misunderstanding something, I’d love to hear specifically what functionality you feel they publicly launched and provided everyone and then reversed ask you to pay for now that they didn’t before.
I can think of some beta testing things that they allowed a small group of people to help them test out and then officially launched some of it to Cam Protect to start with, but even most of those things are still available to the small groups of people who were initially allowed accessed to them, so most of those were never taken away either. I know Wyze initially offered local person detection on V2 cams, but then Apple bought out the company that owned the rights to that local AI detection and ordered Wyze to stop using it. So that wasn’t Wyze’s fault, and in response Wyze built their own cloud AI and now offers free person detection to everyone with those cameras, so nothing was lost there either, even for something that wasn’t initially their fault.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not afraid to give Wyze criticism and even harsh feedback where it is deserved and warranted. See this post and discussion for example., so if you have an example in mind where they gave you something for free then took it away, I’d like to know about it.