Updates are supposed to make your app or device perform better. So when the result of a firmware update is to actually stop your device from functioning, then there’s something really wrong there. That’s what some users of Google Home smart speakers are complaining about on various platforms. It seems that an update that Google rolled out automatically has been causing their devices to get bricked. And if your speaker is beyond warranty, then good luck to you. But now it seems Google has relented and will be replacing affected devices.
This isn’t actually a recent problem as you can see threads not just on Google Support pages but also on Twitter, Reddit, and other spaces where people can complain. But in recent weeks, there has been a notable increase in the volume of complaints which must mean that a bug in the most recent update has been causing the issue. What happens is that after the update, all the lights turn on and it basically becomes unusable. In other words, they are bricked.
Some have tried unplugging and plugging it back in and it worked. Some have had to do a factory reset to get their Google Home working again. Unfortunately for some, even that didn’t do the trick. And worse, if the device isn’t covered by the warranty anymore, Google will not do anything to help them anymore. That is pretty unfair especially if the reason for the device is not working is Google’s fault and not the user.
After a bit of outcry from affected users, Google has finally released a statement. Previously they said they were still trying to find the root cause of the problem. Now they said that they have already created a fix so that issue will not happen in the future. They will be rolling it out “soon” but no timetable was provided. Even better news, they will also be replacing the affected devices. We assume this also includes those that are already beyond warranty.
This is a pretty big issue that Google should have addressed better from the beginning. Hopefully, the fix will roll out soon and this will not happen to future updates. Otherwise, there are a lot of other smart speaker brands out there that can eat their share of the market.