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GoogleNestTeam
Community Manager (Admin)
Community Manager (Admin)

Hey everyone, 

Due to a recent legal ruling we’re making some changes to how you set up your devices and the Speaker Group functionality will work moving forward. If you’re using the Speaker Group feature to control the volume in the Google Home app, by voice with the Google Assistant, or directly on your Nest Hub display, you’ll notice a few changes: 

  • To adjust volume on your speaker groups, you will need to adjust each speaker individually instead of using the group volume controller. You’ll also no longer be able to change your Speaker Group volume using your phone’s physical volume button. 
  • Most Speaker Groups should continue functioning as expected unless you have a speaker group containing other brands of Cast-based devices, like JBL or Lenovo, they need to be on 1.52.272222 or higher Cast firmware version. Check out this article on how to find your device’s firmware version or contact your device maker. 
  • A small set of users will need to use the ‘Device Utility app’ (DUA) to complete product installation and updates. You may receive a prompt to download and run DUA, and it will ensure that your device is connected to Wi-Fi and receives the most updated software version. 

We will continue to support our users and work to minimize any additional changes.

Thanks, 

Google Nest team

927 Comments
Billymalcolm
Community Member

If we bought a product that was manufactured in an illegal manner, I think we should have a pretty good class action case here. Am I wrong? I don't know much about it 

pudgydaddy
Community Member

I must agree with all those who are upset by this turn of events.  I invested in the Google Home infrastructure to utilize and control speakers around my house for an easy to control whole house music system.  Google has made my decision to choose them over competitors unwise by not working with Sonos to compensate them and keep my experience whole.  I must now decide whether to wait this out or change my infrastructure out to a competitor

rulebreaker
Community Member

Simple fix for voice controlling speaker group volume.

Just go into assistant settings and create routines that trigger on raise or lower volume like: "Raise all speakers" (or what ever you want to call your speaker group.) then trigger custom commands in series for each speaker you want to adjust the volume on like "Raise the volume on kitchen speaker", "Raise the volume on bedroom speaker", "Raise the volume on living room speaker". etc etc.. Same for setting various volume levels like 1, 2, 3...10 .. etc.

Just don't name your speaker group "All speakers", name it something else otherwise the command will fail because the speaker group name will be prioritized when audio is playing.

Also, if you have already called the group "All speakers" there's an old bug that will retain the name even though you rename or delete the group that would require a full reset of the speakers and possibly wait a couple of days for the change/remove to propagate through google-servers.

"Hey google! Raise all speakers" - It works like a charm! (And if that doesn't work for you.. "Raise banana" will definitely work. lol!)

You're welcome! 😉 

Beerfire
Community Member

So what's the point of shard speakers?

pudgydaddy
Community Member

@rulebreaker - perhaps the software downgrade hasn't reached you yet.  those commands no longer work in google assistant nor in routines!

Joemg703
Community Member

I just bought myself a Christmas gift of a Google home, to pair with my other so I could play music across the house and control with one volume... And now this... What the f...

tommykat1
Community Member

Community Member @Scipio said:

"What does mirroring audio to have to do with this court ruling? Why would you remove that functionality as well? The main reason I bought this system and have over 30 chromecast speakers is because of the audio mirroring function, with your removal of the group audio page, you also removed the ability to mirror audio... "

This is my dilemma also. The ability to Mirror audio on my device to speaker groups was the single reason I bought both Chromecast Audio dongles for my old-school systems, and various Google Chromecast Nest speakers for hallways, bathrooms and kitchen. Now I have, essentially, 15 worthless bricks.

SamInPgh
Community Member

Great article from Inc. 

"Basically, Google lost a fight, didn't get its way, and decided to take its toys and go home. The problem is, it already sold those toys to customers and it's intentionally breaking them."

https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/google-is-intentionally-making-its-products-worse-for-users-reason-mi...

#PAYSONOS

rulebreaker
Community Member

@pudgydaddy I think you're missing my point. The whole idea is to create a new routine that sets the speakers individually in sequence. You can set what ever you want for a trigger. "More sound", "Beef it up" or what ever. 

Also, why would I try to device a workaround if it was still working like normal for me. 😉 

nickp001
Community Member

@rulebreaker Your suggestion doesn't work for me.  I can't change the volume of any device other than the device that the routine is running on.  So, if I'm running the "Increase Volume" routine on speaker1 and turn up the volume of speaker2 from within my routine, speaker 1 volume increases and speaker 2 volume remains unchanged.

Carbisce22
Community Member

Google assistant is suppose to be voice aided. I have 8 speakers now I have to physically adjust the volume on each one? I want my money back this is ridiculous! 4 homemmax and 4 nest audios down the drain guess im buying sonos.

Billymalcolm
Community Member

I sold all of my echo devices in June and replaced them all with Nest. Talk about bad timing and faith in one of the richest corporations in the world who it turns out would rather screw over it's customers than pay a smaller company for legal rights 

Rudolf
Community Member

This is just ridiculous that base functionality is affected. I can not use routines anymore to change device volume and changing other devices volumes on a smart speakers is not working either. This makes the whole smart speaker system just a peace of junk compared to any competitors at the moment. This is one of shuch sloppy doings from google that really makes me to rethink changing to an other voice assistant system. It really doesn't help that google publish instructios how to use a hard way of changing volume in the app. People have bought these cinds of systems to make life easier and fun. This is irresponsible action is bad for both the whole smart home industry and googles reputation as a stable software company. I'm just sad to be loosing the loyalty I have had for these devices.

tommykat1
Community Member

1/12/22 - day 6 of disabled functionality prevents mirroring my device to cast audio to speaker groups. My Chromecast array of 15 stations and 30 speakers is now worthless. Im back to using Bluetooth on a single portable speaker! When will you supply a solution, Google? I'm counting the days, or will there be a refund soon?

cawauk
Community Member

Absolute half ass-d implementation of the lawsuit by Google:

If I set my bedroom Nest mini audio output default to a group of speakers (e.g. so that when I ask for morning news as I get up, it plays throughout the home) I cannot verbally control the volume for this mini - BUT I can verbally control the volume of all my other 5 Nest devices as their audio output defaults are not set to a speaker group, but to themselves.

Seriously Google???? You've lost the lawsuit, upset your fanbase, and couldn't even be bothered to update your code so that at least ANY verbal volume requests on a device outputting to a group can at least control the volume of the actual device you are speaking into???

No, no no, instead "sorry I can't change the volume on this device". You might as well have updated the reply to be "sorry, f off to Alexa if you want to control my volume".

Half ass-d rubbish development. Dumbfounded. Truly.

tommykat1
Community Member

I placed a 1 star review on the Google "Play Store" installation page for "Google Home." This is where anyone with an Android device needs to go to obtain updates to the app, which is what we're hoping for--and soon. A Google employee often responds to disparaging reviews, though no one has commented on mine yet. I suggest others post their reviews there, as it should hit home to the powers that be.

Billymalcolm
Community Member

Screenshot_20220112-144219.png

 basically, don't let the door hit you on the way out sucker....

STEF-ÂNE
Community Member

#PAYSONOS!

Enskogean
Community Member

Thanks for beeing honest about this. I already have one nest mini and was thinking about buying 2 google nest. I now know that i should not do that.

Adamlawler
Community Member

PAY THE ROYALTY. THATS ALL SONOS WANTS.  YOU COULD ALLOW US TO CONTINUE TO USE THE FEATURES YOU SOLD US ON BY PAYI

Sahmeepee
Community Member

Looking at the patent it seems it only has a couple of years left on it so perhaps Google were hoping it would lapse before any court case had time to conclude.

The patent itself is a complete nonsense - most of it is extended waffle to disguise the fact that Sonos aren't really patenting a method at all, they are patenting a concept or an idea. Effectively it's the user story they have protection over, not the implementation. Big tech firms love these patents though (tesla possibly excepted) because although they sometimes lose as has happened here, mostly they allow them to extend their advantage over small players, so you'll never see Google argue they are a bad idea.

The Google Home experience has been getting steadily worse over time. The later models of the mini speaker often have a brain fade and lose all their settings (even if you do the ridiculously long memory reset procedure); playing music is horribly unreliable and often tries to use Spotify free even if you have a YTM subscription; playing your own music library on YTM is possible on the free tier, then it isn't, then it is, then it isn't - Google Play Music just worked every time. The whole area needs a complete overhaul from someone with a strategic and holistic view.

 

speakernotgroup
Community Member

I have 7 Nest Minis all grouped in my apartment 

I always use voice or the Home group master control to control group volume (until now??!??!?)WTF

This is a nightmare for me as I used to balance the speakers pased on where I was sitting in my apartment and then use the master control to tweak collectively.

This is a MASSIVE functionality loss.!!  MASSIVE

If you lost a legal case to Sonos why not pay licensing fees to Sonos to maintain functionality?? 

("do no evil") is a long lost dream 

 

 

MDL333
Community Member

Google, a number of years ago I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to be an iPhone user or Android user. I chose Android. I later had to choose between Amazon Alexa and Google Nest smart devices. Again, I chose Google. I use Google software services, and have many (probably too many) Google and Nest devices. I also just made the jump from Samsung Galaxy to a Pixel 6 Pro. Overall, I have been satisfied with your ecosystem. However, there have been and continue to be some very annoying issues, lack of speedy integration, and lack of innovation. Still, I have lived with these, waiting for someday that these issues, annoyances and inconveniences are behind me. However, now that you are starting to remove features that I use throughout the day, and those that for which are the reasons I chose your products over Sonos ( in this case), is completely unacceptable and is seriously making me think twice now. You need to work this out now and not make your customers and consumers suffer because of a qualm of this nature. You are a massive company with almost unlimited resources. If you can't defend yourself in court and the court agrees with Sonos, then you need to pay up and give back the features that we paid for in terms of dollars, and in my case, extreme loyalty to your brands.

namastemellons
Community Member

Google, this is absurd - I want my money back for the:

  • 6 Minis
  • 1 Nest Audio
  • 1 Nest Hub Display

This is NOT what I bought into when I purchased me devices and if you're not going to pay the royalties so the products work as intended. I, and I am sure MANY others, demand a refund of some sort. 

Its mind boggling how much money you have and that you won't pay Sonos what they deserve.

Shame on you Google for treating your customers like this. You're nothing without loyal customers.

AWESOME
Community Member
FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

Here's what all of the end users who have to use the Device Utility App have to look forward to

 

https://www.androidauthority.com/google-nest-chromecast-device-utility-setup-3087008/

 

Google, you're really making a splash in headlines. Way to go

VancityS4
Community Member

What a total clusterf#$%. 

My JBL Link 20 (which I specifically bought because it has assistant built-in and a battery and can therefore be used out on the patio) is effectively bricked.  My Gen 2 Nest Minis have gone offline and absolutely refuse to connect to Google Home.  I've reset, rebooted everything (phone, Nest Mini, router) and they will no longer connect to my Wifi network.  I even tried that atrocious Device Utility and got absolutely nowhere. My gen 1 Google Minis continue to work, although not as a group.

Absolutely disgraceful from a company that could pay the royalty from today's profits before 9am.

Where do I sign up for the class action suit?

Amaximov1
Community Member

"To adjust volume on your speaker groups, you will need to adjust each speaker individually instead of using the group volume controller. You’ll also no longer be able to change your Speaker Group volume using your phone’s physical volume button"

 

You are kidding right? I am not toggling the volume slider on a dozen speakers separately. Selling what I can and returning my un opened speakers and hubs. What a shame. The Nest but not actually Nest camera debacle (wont work with Nest app) and now this. Glad I sold my goog shares at an all time high, cant wait for it come crashing down once the shareholders catch on, you deserve it. 

 

Where do I sign up for the class action?

Drew_sturgiss
Community Member

This is ridiculous. License the patent and be done with it, this is not an acceptable outcome. 

MrPerson
Community Member

It's pretty frustrating to see you downplaying the impact that this has on users. Oh we're just going to change these key features that probably sold you on the system in the first place, but don't worry, your speaker still play music!

I don't use the term outrageous very often, but this is outrageous.

These changes completely negate the reason I bought into this system. And not just me, my parents, and my brothers as well.

MrPerson
Community Member

Google this is bad. This isn't just about speakers, this is about every future product we won't buy because we're worried you'll strip away other features long after we've purchased them.

You need to make this right to your customers.

MattChapman
Community Member

This is absolute bull**bleep**! One of the prime reasons I purchased my Google minis and Google home devices, including an expensive soundbar that had Google cast built into it, was to take advantage of the group speaker functionality, including the ability to control volume in a comprehensive manner. I'm not happy with this at all. But **bleep** man, what options do I have now? I guess I have to live with Google's **bleep**ty corporate governance and the way they handle business and how it affects my day-to-day life.

pudgydaddy
Community Member

This is way worse than I thought.   Not only google speaker volumes can't be controlled.   Routines to turn on my tvs via Samsung smartthings and set the TV volume are now executing the volume command on the nest mini, not the TV.  Seriously considering Amazon Echos

rulebreaker
Community Member

@nickp001  I just tried this morning with "Raise banana" and "Lower banana", yes it's silly but the point is that it worked perfectly. As long as the routine isn't called the same thing as the name of the speaker group. So either name the group something stupid that can't be confused with your routine or the other way around. 

Note! If you already named your group "All speakers", then even though you rename the group there seem to be some residual training data that will continue to try to control the speaker group responding to the old name. (This is a bug that's been around for years now..) So you will be better off to find something unique as a routine trigger instead. (Hence my banana-test..)

Lzice
Community Member

It would appear that group audio control is still on Google help pages and support pages. Would this constitute false advertising? What a terrible demonstration of how they want to treat their customers. Take away vital functions often years after purchase. I think it might even be illegal in the EU as part of their obselesence rules...

Halo69
Community Member

I just can't believe Google considers removing this key feature change acceptable. It's like removing the ignition of a car you've owned for many years and then saying "You'll just have to push it to make it start each time you need it". Okay, people. Time for lunch. 

No discussion, no apology, no future fix. Just deal with it. What's next? Adding water manually to a washer? Come on, I've never seen a company treat its customers so poorly. It's ridiculous, unacceptable and outrageous.

They have the cash to set this right. Why not pay up and give their customers what they paid for? #paysonos

ScottElsworthy
Community Member

Almost 5 weeks and this is still not fixed? What the heck is going on over at Google.

Matt6
Community Member

Is this only impacting USA located devices? Or global impact?

Klondyke
Community Member

Assume it´s globally, same sh* in Sweden 😞

jazzandry
Community Member

I bought 6 Nest Mini, 4 Nest Audio, and a Nest Hub Max last December...

I feel ripped off ! 🤬

SimonM
Community Member

This is the final nail in Google Homes coffin for me.

It's bad enough that it's practically unsupported by Google and gets dumber and worse every day but now this **bleep** show, with Google passing the buck on to its customers is a piss take.

Back to Amazon's Alexa, I expect that Google numbers are due to take a nose dive. 

RIP

Billymalcolm
Community Member

My tweet this morning: I can't believe how badly you guys are blowing it. My Pixel 6 Pro barely works, My Android Auto maps are buggy, My Nest Wifi is ruining my gig speed even via ethernet, and now I cant control the volume on my 7 nest speakers. HOW is this possible? FIRE EVERYONE.

thespieler11
Community Member

I want a refund. I regret committing to the Google Ecosystem.

Clive
Community Member

There is literally no work around that works for both routines and timed routines. This really does sound a death bell for products like this IMHO. Open up the API and let the community support if you are going to trash your product range or just let me solder a volume knob to the side of all my devices and have done with it.

Feel free to get this post trending in the community too

https://www.googlenestcommunity.com/t5/Speakers-and-Displays/Degradation-of-service-Speaker-Groups-a...

Clive

 

jonkrohe
Community Member

Recently, I've lost the ability to control the volume of my Marantz receiver via the Google Assistant. Does anyone know if this is a result of this lawsuit? From what I read, I didn't think this functionality would be impacted, but it seems like a big coincidence.

Cdgg
Community Member

All my apps and devices (4 google home minis and 2 nest audios) are up to date. If I use Spotify I can still select my speaker group and adjust the volume for it. Is that still working because I’m using the Spotify app and not the google home app? 

iabbity
Community Member

Well, this sucks. The worst is that you can no longer change the volume with your voice, the speaker will just say "Sorry, I can't change the volume on this device." There was an advertisement that specifically showed how you can do that, and that's why I bought them! 😖

gucho
Community Member

I wish I would've known this before I got the Google Nest Wifi point. I currently cannot play audio from any speaker group and my older devices seem to be unable to cast to despite having current cast firmware. This was one of the key selling points of the devices. I have been championing Google products since their introduction, but without restoring this functionality in one way or another, I highly doubt Google home or phone products will be on the roster for upgrades.

tommykat1
Community Member

1/13/22 - Day 7 of disabled functionality prevents mirroring my device to cast audio to speaker groups. My Chromecast array of 15 stations and 30 speakers is now worthless. Im back to using Bluetooth on a single portable speaker! When will you supply a solution, Google? I'm counting the days, or will there be a refund soon?

Doug_
Community Member

What's everyone planning on getting to replace their Google stuff?

I'm playing around with Volumio for multi-room music to replace the discontinued Chromecast Audios.

Just need some voice control options - anyone know if Alexa can control the volume of other devices? Any good open source options in this area? Not afraid to do a little work to avoid getting screwed over again.