Google Assistant, and support getting increasingly off target

This won’t be the first time I’ve complained about this and probably not the last. For the past couple of weeks Google Assistant is getting more and more off track for me and it’s gotten comedic.

I’ve taken to typing my requests so there can be no doubt what Google Assistant is getting. For a while this worked, but strange things are afoot and Google’s support keeps telling me to do things like reset a speaker to factory defaults and reboot my phone. It’s not me Google, it’s you. Even if it was me it’s your OS, your equipment (several pieces of,) and your app.

Really, history shows that the requests are getting to Google servers, which then turn around and present me with what they think I want.

For about three years I asked a Google Home original speaker “white noise please” and it played white noise. Recently it started playing either the original white noise, a 3-hour long music track called White Noise that was a roar and not a hiss, or a YouTube Music channel/playlist called White Noise.

Another fairly simple one I use on my commute to work every day. “Play the news.” The expected action after literally years of asking this is that it will launch an audio player and play from a selection of my news sources. The pic above is what it started doing yesterday. ‘Play the news’ returned text. Really useful while driving.

I was in a parking lot and not moving when I asked for that before anyone gets mad at me for touching my phone and taking a screen shot. My speed was slower than a snail and I had not moved an inch.

What seems to be worse is when you pair a request with a destination. EG: “play white noise on <device>” – Assistant seems to work harder at misunderstanding when a device is mentioned. For me at least.

Commands that once worked “white noise please,” have been returning that Assistant doesn’t know how to help. OK, used that command for a year and now it doesn’t work? And now it does?

What’s more is there’s my Assistant History showing what I’ve asked. Things are just missing. Usually from the wildly wrong responses, but yeah.

Routines I have set up in Google Home that trigger will occasionally throw new and varied responses.

Something’s up with Google Assistant, at least for me on both the physical devices and my phone. I’m pretty sure the solution does not involve factory resetting one of my Google Home devices, but lordy at this point it’s getting less and less reliable so I might just so I can get past the first wave of tech support.

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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