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

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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 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 hours.

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.

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:

How to use the 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.

– 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 the video stream at the top of the screen and the Sightline view with the activity timeline and snapshots below.

– To switch from the Sightline view to event history view, tap the event history  icon.

– To switch back to Sightline view, tap the Sightline  icon.

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

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

– If you have a 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.

– Select the types of events you want to see.

– Tap Done.

– 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.

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 and it will appear. See the section below for more details.

How to listen and talk to people with your Nest camera

Go live:

When you’re reviewing your video or event history, the microphone button will change to a Go live  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.


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  on the bar at the bottom of the video window. Tap the arrow again  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:

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.

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.

Skip to a different day:

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

– Select the Calendar  icon.

– 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.

– 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.