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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

913 Comments
drewmcdan1
Community Member

I haven't looked at whether Google tried to protect themselves by blocking class action suits in thier terms of service, but I suspect they have.  However, there is nothing that Google can do if there are complaints made to your state's Attorney General for fraud for reducing capability that they advertised.  Complaints like these can be more troublesome to corporations than class action lawsuits anyway.   

Whatever1
Community Member

Lies lies lies!

Screenshot_2022-01-14-04-19-34-79_b5a5c5cb02ca09c784c5d88160e2ec24.jpg

Whatever1
Community Member

Lies replaced with cut and paste blurb after Google lost.

Screenshot_2022-01-14-04-25-49-41_b5a5c5cb02ca09c784c5d88160e2ec24.jpg

Meh
Community Member

Sold my android phone. Gone back to iPhone and gone with HomePods. Works much better and the sound is better. 

Still have my nest audio devices as well for now, but mostly pointless apart from the Nest hub as a bedside clock etc. 

Halo69
Community Member

We are all saying: "Google, you can't do this". But the fact is: they already DID and there's nothing we can do about it.

Google doesn't care their products no longer function as advertised and it rather sacrifices their customers instead of paying for the patent. This is all premeditated prior to the December 15 update. The cooperation anticipated our complaints and simply waits till all of this blows over.

After all, what can we do?

- We can't access their source code

- Their legal department probably covered everything concerning lawsuits

- Most of us don't have the resources to buy an entirely new ecosystem

Google knows we're depending on them to set this straight, while they haven't got any intention to do so.

Instead, they chose to keep us in the dark. Misleading us by advising to troubleshoot and factory reset - many hours and efforts wasted - while they knew all along this wasn't a bug; it was a deliberate removal of a key function. 

On top of that they issue a statement, saying most customers won't be affected by this change. And a promise to do whatever they can to minimize any inconvenience. Really? All they've caused is pain and a complete disfunction of their devices. It's a joke to them! 

Shame on you, Google. 

THIS IS CUSTOMER TERRORISM! 

Halo69
Community Member

Also, let's not forget this happened during December's Holiday season. Who'd buy the speakers without multiroom voice control? That's right: no one! Google kept quiet. It let people buy their products - assuming they functioned as advertised - knowing they wouldn't. Deception and lies, all for extra profit.

 

Again, shame on you, Google! 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hello,

 

I'm still unclear what the direct effects are in my situation I still have a speaker group, the group isn't showing on the home app any longer. But a voice command on my living room system does fire op the group.

 

My setup Display Hub (Lenovo) a Harman Kardon citation a pioneer MR3 (Chromecast speaker) and a Samsung Soundbar Chromecast enabled. (In my house are more Google Hubs and devices that have no speaker group config)  I presume the speaker group shouldn't be working any longer. 

 

Can someone explain the precise ramifications please.

Thank you 

BrumRob
Community Member

I am a big Google fan with Pixels, Hubs, speakers etc

This is very very poor. I'm losing my faith in you.

Please just pay Sonos. Otherwise your Google Home environment is really defunct.

Please also build an environment for Google Home that runs from a brower and tv to enable me to control my cameras on other devices.

Just pay them. Why should we suffer?

Halo69
Community Member

@Anonymous

It depends on your build. My speakers have firmware version 1.54.277099. The devices starting with 1.56 are mostly still operational. 

Jack3
Community Member

I just boght the second Nest Audio to create a speaker pair - stereo setup. And BIG disapointment when after 2 hours of setup I realised that I can't controle the volume because of stupid "Sorry, I can't change the volume from this device" error.

Google why you lie to your customers?

Will be any solution? Will I have to sell my Google (not so smart) speakers and buy Apple's Home Pods?

😞

AWESOME
Community Member
Bnsherer
Community Member

Looks like the cowards at google removed the add tags feature - the emperor has no clothes!  

Gaslit by google

nickp001
Community Member
xxxprolapsexxx
Community Member
Achilles
Community Member

And like always, google gives zero f**ks about its paying customers.. No more google products for me

IP patents are fundamentally ridiculous and in this case just proves how stupid they really are, to patent the idea of controlling multiple speakers wirelessly using software would be like patent the idea that a wheel can spin and put more wheels together they can all spin together.. That would make anyone who put wheels together to make a cart liable for a lawsuit unless they pay royalty to that person who just stated the obvious and happend to be first to file a patent.. 

But Googles respond to this problem is just the lowest for of care for their customers, basically leaving them to take the fall for a problem they created in the first place.. I would say it constitutes fraudulent behaviour..


Are there any savy lawyers who can start a class action?

Brausmith
Community Member

I see the reviews on the Google Device Utility app have been manipulated with all reviews now removed.

Really does show how very little respect Google has for us customers.

tommykat1
Community Member

1/14/22 - Day 8 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?

Achilles
Community Member

ok so here is an interesting aspect of things... If you run Spotify from your device and have it cast to your speaker group, you can adjust the volume through the spotify app which then applies to all speakers playing, in effect controlling the volume of multiple zone speakers at once.. How is that different from what google home app was doing? 

edit: perhaps this has to do with the OEM and only googles own phones will be affected.

Billymalcolm
Community Member

Also, I don't understand why Amazon's Echo devices can do this. Do they pay a royalty to Sonos?

nickp001
Community Member

@Billymalcolm Sonos said that they will be suing Amazon as well.

VancityS4
Community Member

@Achilles 

Yes I am able to play Spotify from my phone and use my phone's physical buttons to control the volume of a speaker group.  Isn't that the whole basis of the law suit???  

Achilles
Community Member

@Billymalcolm As I understand it Sonos decided to not file a lawsuit on amazon at the same time as with google as it would be too much of a financial risk/burden, so the decided to focus on google.. But Im sure with this ruling they will definitely pursue amazon and others who use this feature in their product..

kelvin
Community Member

This is literally the only reason I have these speakers in my house, please offer a refund/buyback program ASAP. It is not okay that you are taking functionality away from the users, its great that it kind of still works, but this is unacceptable and I want money back so I can invest it in the appropriate system if google cannot provide it. 

Achilles
Community Member

@VancityS4 Exactly, why I argue these IP patents are fundamentally ridiculous and counter productive.. There are many features made by google that Sonos benefits from, such as google assistance, so how come they are still using them? Because its what progress is all about, sharing ideas for the greater good. Sonos should focus on their core business which is developing high end wireless speakers, they are not competing with google as google does not make the same quality. So in sharing they can benefit from both and develop their business together. Its just Sonos being a cry baby and probably losing their game due to lack of innovation.. Just look at Tesla who gave away their autopilot software, confident it won't harm their core business, which it hasn't.. Copying is the greatest form of flatter, any serious business should know this and appreciate.

argusvidicon
Community Member

This is perfectly great for me.  Often when I would play music on the "Home Group" I'd  find that the Home group volume wasn't at 100% where I want it always to be.

When I'd raise the group volume I'd have to go back and adjust each speaker on the group.

This solves that issue.  Thanks Sonos go suck an egg.

My Google speakers and Google Home works great.

There were a few glitches, but as Google moves forward with the adjustments they legally have to  make things will only get better.  Thanks again Sonos, go fly a kite.

Tamugridge
Community Member

This is absolutely ridiculous and totally negates the purpose of purchasing Google Home products.  So you’re telling us Google Home can turn of a hundred lights, turn on 20 TVs and adjust your thermostat by just talking to it but can’t adjust the volume on a speaker??  Ironic really.  As of now I’ll be putting my 2 Max Speakers, 4 minis, 2 nests, 2 home max speakers, 2 hubs and 25 hallogen and normal light bulbs on eBay.   If it can’t do the simplest of commands it makes the entire system redundant and after this, I’m concerned there’s a lot more legal issues to come. I’ve had Google products for over 5 years now, time to find another option.  Google, how about future proofing your products both technology wise as well as legally.  RIP Google Home!!

Rpjwalter
Community Member

This is just so disheartening.  With each consecutive poor decision Google seems to make lately I honestly feel like throwing my hands up and moving to different products.  It sucks too that I'm just completing my new house and have boxes and boxes of nest and Google products ready to install and I feel like I need to return everything.

E4kenndr
Community Member

Just how many features are you planning on ripping away from our smart home devices?

First we got calls to actual phone numbers removed in the UK with no apology, now this. I STILL can't trigger routines from motion sensors etc, years down the line, the assistant is in the worst state I've ever seen, doing the most random of things in responses, I've a whole album of video evidence too with hundreds of errors (not just listening errors) that I'm sure if I took you to court would wipe the floor with you. Seriously regret going Google, you've completely let your customer base down. Wish I'd gone with Alexa.

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

Perhaps a ray of sunshine for the few more technically savvy

 

The story of Google, Sonos & ITC v Customers, and two Android patches

https://blog.esper.io/android-12-cast-volume-changes-explained

 

https://www.xda-developers.com/cast-speaker-groups-root/

 

https://www.theverge.com/2022/1/14/22883982/google-sonos-ban-workaround-speaker-groups-aosp-volume-c...

 

Nice one, @GoogleNestTeam  removing the tags. Same teqinique as reviews for Home, Assistant and Device Utility being removed. Keeping it classy, as always...

 

Halo69
Community Member

@FixSpkrPairVol

I would be happy to dig into root to change the configuration but I don't have a Pixel phone. Hopefully a workaround will follow for other brands.

 

leogames
Community Member

#PAYSONOS

 

And don't forget to one-star review the Home app - even though you'll still only get Google's meaningless stock response in the meantime, if they bother replying to you at all.

tommykat1
Community Member

1/15/22 - Day 9 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?

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

https://www.androidpolice.com/users-protest-google-speaker-group-changes-tags/

 

Oops... Google deleted them

 

Another awesome headline, Google. Keep it classy 😉

Thachaser
Community Member

Using numerous Google devices makes this a HUGE downgrade.

Considering to just throw away all of them, because nobody wants them without this functionality.

What a waste 😞 Of money and good products.

 

So this is the future of our smart home devices.... being sued on patents of specific functionality and just remove it. How about the environment?

What kind of compensation will Google give for removing this functionality? And even more important ; how are all Google devices that will be discarded being recycled?

This is ridiculous and I'm considering legal actions.

Coloredo311
Community Member

What was sold and what was delivered isn’t the same, which ultimately is a form of fraud. Smart home ecosystem built to support a family member with a disability, and for home entertainment. Google Home Max speakers, and more… Hundreds of dollars ruined in my smart home ecosystem. This change is going to ruin one of my primary use cases. Google is going to have to find a “customer first” approach (don’t give us a little money to spend more with you!) to make this 100% right. This is your fault so don’t make your early adopter and “all in” customers suffer the most. Take care of us first… or this is probably going to cost you a lot more than legal fees. Do the right thing for your customers, please!

JoaquinVacas
Community Member

Actually, I expect Google fixes this. A standard for casting audio should be created.

 

Actually, AirPlay feels more like a standard than Google Cast, it also allows sending audio from any app or directly your phone audio to any device, group them and control them from the system. Feels so good and smooth.

 

This is a shame, I have the whole house full of Nest Audio, Smart Displays and so on.

 

Google. Stop propietary Cast, maybe Matter or implement something like AirPlay.

FredRolli
Community Member

Hi,

you mentioned that 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.

I have 5 Google nest mini and 2  Google nest, they are in the same group and all have a Cast firmware higher than 1.52.272222.

However I can’t voice control the volume.

Can you please let me know what shall o do to be able to voice command the volume again?

best,

Fred

ThomasR
Community Member

Google must pay the royalities Sonos demands, or find a way around the infringement to give its user the functionality back. It is totally unacceptable to simply remove such a core functionality on their products!!

Gdnf
Community Member

Quickest workaround is to press 'media' while a group is playing and then change volume for each pair of speakers (I have lots of them, but still only takes a few seconds more than the old system). What's not clear is why Google put out a fudge statement that was far from informative - has Johnson already found a new job?

Clive
Community Member

@Gdnf If you have a phone handy then yes you can use the media option. However speaking to google home, using a routine or timed routine does not change the volume of a speaker group and there is no way I can see around this. Even trying to change the volume individually doesn't work

WifeyCola
Community Member

I refund is absolutely in order. Pretty sad Google (one of the most valuable companies in the world) wouldn't pay licensing royalties to Sonos when their staff didn't appropriately search active patents and then discovered their devices violated Sonos IP. 

CuirBear
Community Member

I do not get what everyone is going on about the group volume control issue.

This is by far the least of my concerns with what is happening with Google Speaker groups.

The biggest issue is the groups themselves. The ability to cast to a group, or to add speakers to those already playing, no longer exists. I would love to whine about the fact that I cannot control my group volume UNFORTUNATELY I cannot even get speaker groups to work at all.

Does no one else see this?

Fyrefly925
Community Member

So - when you say “they have to be changed individually” does this mean I can only change the volume by manually touching the nest or manipulating it in the app? Is that any way to voice control a single speaker that is playing in a speaking group? 

Adrianh85
Community Member

I can work with this. Awesome while it lasted 😉  However can you fix the volume and device enablement controls in the "Home>Media" Widget? Currently its cause the speaker group to totally become unresponsive and crash.

Hammer1
Community Member

So what you are saying is I have to now turn the volume on each of my 7 speakers  ? Funny I have spent a lot of my time and my hard earned money on your products so I can control all the volume at once 

So now they are worthless so can you please contact me so you can have them all returned and a full credit as they are not fit for purpose 

One very upset google customer 😒 

tommykat1
Community Member

1/16/22 - Day 10 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?

Note: those afflicted may wish to give negative reviews on the Google Home App installation page in the Google or Apple Stores.

tommykat1
Community Member

@CuirBear said: "The biggest issue is the groups themselves. The ability to cast to a group, or to add speakers to those already playing, no longer exists. I would love to whine about the fact that I cannot control my group volume UNFORTUNATELY I cannot even get speaker groups to work at all."

A BIG YES!!! This is what I have been complaining about daily. I repeated it an hour ago, and I don't plan to stop:

"1/16/22 - Day 10 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. I'm 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?

Note: those afflicted may wish to give negative reviews on the Google Home App installation page in the Google or Apple Stores."

CuirBear
Community Member

@tommykat1 I am lucky, in that I have a Chromecast device plugged into an amplifier, which feeds to 4 wired speakers (kitchen/dining, hall, and back patio), so I choose this as my main sound source now.

So need to get this speaker group situation fixed.

Google? Are you there? Are you listening?

E4kenndr
Community Member

I've absolutely had it with Google, reading this forum it's clear I'm not the only one.

 

If I set up a petition for them to just sort all their ridiculous logic out would people be interested in signing and sharing it?

 

 

Steeli
Community Member

This sucks! I have 8 Google ready speakers! You earn so much much with us! Pay the licence to sonos!