A couple more days with some very broken Google

I’m not sure what’s up with Google, maybe it’s just my account, but from Driving Mode to turning lights on and off this has not been a banner week. Maybe it’s caused by my wife’s discovery of the 0-second bug, maybe someone at Google just hates me. What the end result is I’m dealing with what was once a robust ecosystem and is now something that tends to annoy me.

Here’s what I’m experiencing

Offline voice recognition does not work at all. I don’t know how well it worked before, but I seem to recall being able to get into driving mode or being able to have it recognize “navigate home” without a connection.

Voice recognition delays on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G) are varying lengths meaning I say “ok google” and within 1-5 seconds I’ll hear the tone that it’s listening. I can always start talking a second or two before the tone pops up, but if I do much more than that it appears to mishear whatever I’m saying at the time it plays the tone.

“Tell me the news” tends to either work, or tell me “I’m sorry I don’t know how to help with that” on a regular basis while in driving mode.

“Play whatever” quite often returns search results, “play whatever on YouTube music” quite often tells me it’s about to play and then immediately says “something went wrong, try opening the YouTube Music app”. I usually can play a different song and then have it play what I wanted initially.

Playing the news is an exercise in what’s going to break this time – I listen to the newer style of Google News where it picks a few stories from various agencies and plays them. While most play, after about 5 or 6 I’ve become quite used to it pulling up a new story and just quitting. No notice, no error, just the news stops. I ask it what’s playing and it tells me it doesn’t know how to help with that. I press back and forth on the car’s console which are next/previous, nada. I ask it to skip and it tells me it can’t help. I have to ask Google to tell me the news once again and sometimes it resumes “here’s where you left off,” sometimes it starts over.

The services becoming unlinked or not working in the Home app is probably a red herring, but there’s that as well going on. I’ve got two light bulbs that I can’t control at the moment that I’m going to unlink and relink, I’ve had to re-link my Roborocks S7, this is all within the past few days.

I’m pretty sure in the driving mode it’s getting into a fight with the Google Search widget. Diving mode pulls up a visual indicator when it’s listening/when you’re speaking. The Search Widget pops up a toast that says “sending audio as mymail gmail”. When it can’t help, and when I’m able to actually look over without crashing to see what’s going on, that toast is up quite a bit.

This is also coming a week or so after Google pushed a faulty Webview, so may be the long term impacts of this.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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