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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

885 Comments
DTBoudreau
Community Member

@tommykat1 Do you really think that anyone besides us is reading your daily copy and paste message?  I appreciate you are as irritated by the present state as the rest of us but this copy and paste exercise everyday is accomplishing nothing productive and, from my view, is just spam.

 

Again, I appreciate where you are and we're all there but this daily update to say "yup, broken yesterday; yup, broken today" is providing no value and is just something we have to weed through when people are trying to provide some type of meaningful feedback or suggestion.

 

Perhaps I'll be proven wrong but I'm expecting a hostile reply back to this...

barrymilliken
Community Member

A little bedroom story that might make you laugh before you cry:

When I bought my nest wifi and speaker system (router, 2 points and 4 speakers).  I put 2 speakers (paired) and one of the points in my bedroom.  At first I defined the "room" as "bedroom" but soon found out that I could not refer to rooms as a basis for casting music either by voice or routine.  (How dumb is that?)  So I change the name of the room to "BR" and renamed the speaker pair to "bedroom".  That worked.  But then I remembered that the wifi point had a speaker so why not include that?  So I changed the name of the speaker pair to "BRpair" and included it and the wifi point in a new group called "bedroom" .  For months that worked fine by voice or by routine.  My "workday" routine played radio every morning on the "bedroom" group at 7:15.

About a month ago it stopped working.  Instead I got the strange error message "Your video devices seem to be offline.  You might want to check that they are connected."  Strange, because no videos or video devices were involved.  I tried to fix in every imaginable way including factory resetting all devices.  But nothing worked.

Finally I found a way to fix: I changed the name of the "bedroom" group to "boudoir". Everything worked.  I'm not kidding!  My only theory is that my device info in the google cloud got corrupted and the name "bedroom" led to a data record that was bad.  Of course there is no way for a user to see or correct such data.

I'm available to consult to Google for $1,000 per hour.

cawauk
Community Member

 

@barrymilliken I factory reset all my devices today, deleted my home, deleted app data and cache, reset my router, then spent an hour setting everything up again, from scratch.

Well, guess what, Google Nest still thinks there are 3 "home groups" somewhere in the ether. Ludicrous poor coding or cache management by Google.

Wasted an hour of my life.

My only option was to create a new group called "home speakers" because if I ask Google to play on "home group", after factory resetting my 7 devices, it still asks me "would you like to play that on home group, home group, or home group", and "all speakers", another group I created a while back, also resides somewhere in Google's ether causing problems.

Truly poor development from Google.

tommykat1
Community Member

@DTBoudreau, point taken. Apologies. My intent was to keep a chronicle and  be a thorn in Google's patootie. Maybe I'll just post it weekly instead, if that works.

DTBoudreau
Community Member

@tommykat1 thank you.  Certainly meant no disrespect as I absolutely appreciate where you are at with this and share the level of frustration.  I also have a fairly extensive investment in the Google infrastructure and almost bought 2 more at Christmas but glad I didn't  

As an aside I managed to reach an actual person via chat with Google to talk about the issue and they had me try a bunch of things for not reason and the last word I got is that they are working on a solution to the problem.  Felt like a boilerplate BS response but they claim they are going to get back to me.  If they give me anything meaningful I'll be sure to share it here.

ScottElsworthy
Community Member

7 weeks and still a critical bug in the devices? What the heck is going on over there at Google?

Not being able to change the volume on a speaker should be enough to issue a recall notice.

aprevits
Community Member

At what point are google home users going to be compensated? I have exclusively purchase Google home/nest speakers because I can create easy to use surround sound, and now it's a disaster to use. I have 4 google minis, a JBL link 300, a google home, a google nest hub, and google nest wifi access point, not to mention the doorbell, thermostat, multiple chromecast ultras and stadia controllers, and my google accounts (youtube music, google one, stadia). Over $2,000 of products and services that have significantly lost their value. What is google going to do about this? Absolutely ridiculous.

c0sm0naught
Community Member

has anyone else noticed that the Kudos on the main post remains around 9% of the total comments. Many from "people" who have signed up seemingly just to post a like?! 

seems odd bot behaviour - is this an attempt by google to suggest that "others" are happy with their initial post?!

come on Google - give us an update on when and what we can expect as a fix 

Deckfitz
Community Member

I bought a pair of Nest Audio speakers in December, with the sole intent of pairing them up as a stereo pair. If this functionality - which was expressly advertised as a use case for the speakers - and the ability to control the volume of the pair by voice, and by the Home app are no longer possible, I shall be returning the speakers for a full refund, as they would no longer be the items that I bought and paid for. 

 

tommykat1
Community Member

Now, when I ask the assistant to cast (or play) music on [speaker], it says, "Sorry, I cant do that yet."

And, still, if asking to play music on a speaker group, instead of doing the job, it directs me to outdated Google instructions for casting to speakers and groups.

Billymalcolm
Community Member

This is poop.

framola
Community Member

Please fix this. I have multiple speakers around my home and his change is extremely annoying.

This issue is making me think of changing home automation ecosystem. 

Please do better.

leogames
Community Member

Okay, so this is strange..  Right now, I'm not getting the error I was previously.

I'm asking music to play through Spotify and it's playing on a group.  When I ask for the volume to change, it..  changes.  You know, like it always did and is very reasonably supposed to.

Has Google decided to finally #PAYSONOS or is this just a temporary "glitch"?

SamInPgh
Community Member

Here's an interesting take on the legal situation by a patent lawyer. Unfortunately it's not very promising for us, the innocent hostages of this corporate standoff:

https://tinyurl.com/bdhauv8s

#PAYSONOS

#FreeTheHostages

c0sm0naught
Community Member

@SamInPgh interesting.... do we know how close to the 20 years this is?

I'd love to get in contact with trading standard here in the UK - and I intend to when I get chance. has anyone else got anykind of non-automated response from Google or their reps?

SamInPgh
Community Member

@c0sm0naught The company (Sonos) was founded in 2002 so, depending on when the infringed patents were filed, they could expire as early as this year. The ones covered by this latest ruling are listed in the court order, so they could be looked up in the online database if someone has the time or inclination. For an eye-opening experience, check out this list of all patents currently held by Sonos:

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/patents

#PAYSONOS

SamInPgh
Community Member

Ok. Here's a very detailed analysis of Sonos' patent portfolio:

https://www.iam-media.com/patents/the-sonos-v-google-spat-will-be-tough-test-the-audio-pioneers-pate...

Check out this chart:

Screenshot_2022-01-27-11-30-09.jpg

Tamugridge
Community Member

Just another example of Google's dirty business tactics – which actually makes sense if you’re a “big fish” and can afford to drag the little guy through years of legal litigation.

“Years ago, big tech companies like Google figured out that they profit more by stealing smaller companies’ IP rather than buying or licensing it. Google, and others – with huge cash reserves don’t sweat legal fees, court costs or even damages they might have to pay for this theft.”

With a reported $142bn cash in the bank, Google can afford to drag anyone who dares to challenge them through the courts so it stands to reason – why even bother paying licensing fees to the smaller fish if, at the end of it they get a slap on the wrists, or just ordered to pay damages.  Meanwhile, the use of stolen IP continues to make Google money in-turn taking the potential financial gain away from Sonos.  With that, even at the end of it all the losses incurred by stolen IP puts Google ahead even after having to pay any damages (if at all).  Simply put, Google still benefits from stealing IP.

In this case, Google’s theft of Sonos’ IP started in 2013 following an agreement to make it’s music service Google Play Music available on Sonos speakers.  Google merely used this deal to gain access to Sonos’ technology.  It soon began making its own devices with Sonos’ technology, including speakers and other audio equipment that competed directly with Sonos’ speakers and other products in the marketplace.

Although I'm a big user of Google Home products and have been since the first Google Mini, I'm almost happy Sonos won their judgement against "Googleiath" as Google now needs to take notice, do the right thing and solve their issues before having to experience them (years down the track).

The fact that Google has still not settled or agreed to pay any licensing fees to Sonos suggests they will continue to fight this to the detriment of it’s consumer.  It could also mean that this is the tip of the iceberg and that we can expect further losses to the functionality of it’s products as more and more smaller companies watching this case build confidence to take on Googleiath in the aftermath of Sonos’ win.

As for me, I’m still deciding on either Alexa or Apple Home – but before I do anything, I’ll definitely look into the relevant IP issues prior to settling on one in the hope of futureproofing my smart home setup.

RIP Google!

tommykat1
Community Member

1/28/22 - Beginning week 4 of disabled functionality. I still can't mirror my device to cast audio to speaker groups, either in the Home App on my Android phone, or by voice through the assistant. My Chromecast array of 15 stations and 30 speakers is essentially bricked, and I'm back to using Bluetooth on a single portable speaker. Will Google reinstate the advertised features we paid for? 

I tallied the cost to invest in a similar Sonos setup and it's over $5,000. Ouch! 

Please give negative reviews on the Google Home App installation page in the Google Play Store. The more people who do this, the more pressure on Google to pay Sonos for licensing.

aalexiou
Community Member

this is crap. anyone knows a company that supports what Google suspended?

monkey1aj
Community Member

Not sure if the last comment got that user deleted because I can’t tag them and their username shows up as “Not Applicable”. But the answer is, perhaps obvious, Sonos. 

timthuston
Community Member

@aalexiou 

Sonos?

ThomasR
Community Member

@GoogleNestTeam how long do you plan to stay ignorant and not share you plans?

We have speakers in multiple rooms and now any speaker that picks up the voice is acting. It used to be only the nearest speaker that would do this, but have you violated yet another patent and removed this function as well?

Pay up, google, or your customer loyalty will vanish, one way or the other.

ThomasR
Community Member

It seems like the best thing to do to make Google take action is if everyone starts giving the Google Home app poor reviews in the App store. They clearly don't care about their customers until it impact new the sale to new ones.

Brausmith
Community Member

I think we are reaching the slow down point that Google waits for, when the customer energy runs out.

But they must also be swamped on support as it's been 11 days since their auto responder told me I would hear back from them in 48 hours. Here's hoping it's everyone complaining to them.

As for negative app reviews, Google has this gamed in their favour on the Play store. Only recent reviews contribute to the overall rating. So any short period of review bombing eventually falls off. It requires a long term sustained approach with everyone in the future to also down rate 

Bnsherer
Community Member

If google were a person they'd be a shady used car dealer, or a fake drug dealer who sold oregano, or brittany spears dad, or some such **bleep**. My Pixel 6 started bootlooping the other day, and nest thermostat randomly stops working at times. Their customer service is laughable too

snapperheadjoe
Community Member

I am happy to join any class action suit that comes I have spent several thousand dollars on Google speaker hardware to build a rather robust home audio system and this change has destroyed my ability to manage volumes across devices.  The most recent firmware update completely stripped out the ability to even control individual volume from the Google home app or the nest hub devices because I have speakers from JBL and Toshiba which are below the 1.55 firmware version level.  As far as I can tell JBL and Toshiba aren't interested in updating the firmware so I am stuck with a home audio system that physically requires me to walk to every single speaker in order to control the volume.

snapperheadjoe
Community Member

@ThomasR  I thought I was crazy but I'm experiencing the same exact behavior across all my Google devices in the home I speak to one in the bedroom and the one in the living room on the other side of the house responds.  This is more screwed up behavior after Google's latest firmware update, I've lowered the OK Google sensitivity to its lowest levels for all the speakers and I still have the same problem.  So now not only can I no longer control volume on my devices but when I speak to one device on one side of the house every other bleeding device in the House responds with a cacophony of nonsense until you go tell every individual device to shut up.

snapperheadjoe
Community Member

@GoogleNestTeam  I have the fix for all your woes until your bosses decide to pay Sonos for the patented tech they stole, create a Google Home App Volume Widget.  The widget would list the volume slider for any device joined to Google Home.  The widget could be added to any home screen and used to manage the individual volumes for any device in the home in an efficient, coinvent way since you've stolen our ability to use voice commands or Google Nest Hub devices to do this.

Making this widget will give your engineers time to find a working solution to this problem OR better still work out a royalty agree with Sonos so all Google Costumers across the planet CAN GET THEIR VOLUME CONTROLS BACK!  You should consider this name it better reflects what you have been doing to your devices and your customers @destroyedbygoogle

Anonymous
Not applicable

This whole deal is ridiculous and bad service to the Google Home user. However I have seen people requesting a widget to control sound. Such function already exist if you are on an Android phone not sure about iOS. It's located under the area on the Home app where you find routines and such. However I do think we should get all functionality back soon not being able to use voice commands is a major inconvenience.

Ricky83
Community Member
tommykat1
Community Member

I actually spoke with a tech last night about the inability to mirror my device and cast to groups. He was aware of the volume problem but was unaware of the group cast issue. Note that casting to groups via music services may work, but not when mirroring audio files from a music player on your device. That's how I do it! I don't have a music subscription. I'm fairly certain this is not a feature available on iPhones.

While on the phone, he was able confirm and report my issue. He acted surprised and was very patient. He was also surprised at the extent of my Chromecast system, and I got the feeling that those of us with extensive whole-house arrays are outliers. He asked for a count. Note that he was a tech for Chromecast only, and not Nest products.

Regarding the volume problem, he mentioned the change so that volume is now adjusted separately by device. He DID NOT say they were fixing it, but I got him to admit that it was a known unpopular workaround. It sounded like a canned response from the legal department.

All in all, the tech was patient and seemed he was doing his best under difficult circumstances. 

One more thing: the callback was immediate from when I reported my issue. I literally was called within seconds of hitting  send.

Ripper365
Community Member

Between this and the other goat rodeo with Google forcing free Workspace/G Suite users into paid subscriptions after over a decade of free use, I've started recommending competitor products and migrating friends and family off Google services until such time that Google removes their heads from their a$$es. I have Nest WiFi in my own home, and it works great, but I totally just installed an Eero system for my parents last night. If the track record with Google continues to trend in the direction of me getting burned left and right, it will only hasten my jumping from the ship entirely. Do better.

DTBoudreau
Community Member

@Ripper365 The whole thing with workspace being forced to move to paid subscriptions is a whole other infuriating thing.  I have 3 accounts in my domain (me and my kids) and use it strictly for email/calendar.  There is nothing about that worth the $8/User/Mth they are trying to impose.  I'll go all stoneage and build a server to host it myself before I pay that.

fpatou
Community Member

 

Hello,

Paired speakers is for me the main concern as it's a groupe stricly speaking, BUT is known as one signle device in Home app...with this we are in the midle of something and communcation was not clear on this feature.
Are we able or not to setup volumes on paired speakers  via routines  ?(to subtitute one by one in a routine to the group set up. Problem is then when you have paire inside the group) 

What i have tried via routines :

  • Set paire volume (Max and mini V2) : KO
  • Set each member of the paire for mini V2 : KO
  • Set each member of the paire for MAX : OK (most of the time) even if error message from assistant

Note : 

Casting to paire is ok via voice/and youtube music...this confirm that paire is not group on that use case.

I hope the distingo and clarification will be made soon making paire acting as a single device 100%.

jtiger121
Community Member

the lack of action over the course of the last few weeks has convinced me to start my march away from google products and regain my privacy. It is obvious by this point, that google's choice between their customers and their profit margins is only one sided. This is a whole new network with a dream machine pro. Ripped out my nest wifi, and bought replacement ubiquiti cameras. Once in place, I will be dropping my "nest aware" subscription. Next up, a synology NAS in my network cabinet. After implementation, I will be dropping my google one subscription, and selling these nest cams on ebay. I had already switched all my personal business over to Office365 from Gsuite. I'd replace my youtube subscription as well, but i despise commercials. Once apple gets their head out of their assess and puts a REAL back button for all UI functions at the bottom of the screen, the divorce will be complete. Google makes billions exploiting their customers on the low cost of enterprise class IT services for the masses. You are the product at these low cost storage and home automation solutions. After 20 years being a google customer and fan, I have started looking elsewhere.  Capture.PNG

Brausmith
Community Member

Nest support is useless. Yeah right, let's ask the same department that removed the features for them back.

Google has no accountability, and proves that you truely don't own you hardware.

"I checked with my senior specialist if there is any way you can get a credit as a compensation for the loss of the group volume functionality however they said that we don't provide any compensation for this. If you'd like to have the feature back, you can request our Engineering team to have this by saying, "Hey Google send feedback". "

tommykat1
Community Member

2/3/22 - Beginning week 5 of disabled functionality. I still can't mirror my device to cast audio to speaker groups, either in the Home App on my Android phone, or by voice through the assistant. My Chromecast array of 15 stations and 30 speakers is essentially bricked, and I'm back to using Bluetooth on a single portable speaker. Will Google reinstate the advertised features we paid for? 

I tallied the cost to invest in a similar Sonos setup and it's over $5,000. Ouch! 

Please give negative reviews on the Google Home App installation page in the Google Play Store. The more people who do this, the more pressure on Google to pay Sonos for licensing.

tommykat1
Community Member

Google said the following in their post announcing changes (read impaired functionality) a month ago today:

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

Thanks, 

Google Nest team"

Well???? Where's the support??? When do we get back the features we paid for???

Stef29
Community Member

Hey @GoogleNestTeam,

I might have discovered a loophole that makes your speaker group volume controls work again. Just use the YouTube music/cast from any app to your speak group. Voila you can now control volume for your speaker groups volume using just your phones volume buttons 😁

SoundInTheory
Community Member

I think this is the first time I’ve bought a bunch of tech to find it just totally lose a primary, integral and massively important function. Finding it hard to believe this is possible to be honest! So so disappointed. 

Raab6
Community Member

Will be a function available in the future to bring back the group volume control?! You should buy Sonos, because owning is better then need to have something....

Oasis2011
Community Member

So without group cast .. IT IS TRASH 

I CURSE THE DAY I BOUGHT GOOGLE NEST

Oasis2011
Community Member

It is useless .... No GROUP CASTING 👎👎👎👎

Amitmeenaarjunp
Community Member

Amit meen 

barrymilliken
Community Member

I have no problem casting to speakers groups from the home app, from YT music or by voice.

I solved my problem by removing spaces from all device and group names.

In YT music I can adjust volume by a single slider representing all the devices in the cast.

Only in the home app do I need to adjust volume on each speaker of speaker pair individually.

Throud
Community Member

What a shame !

 

Like the others, that’s why I bought all this stuff (6 devices). More, I’m located in France and we are not under the weight of this law… but you decided to cut the service for everybody.

 

I will accept no excuses. These devices don’t do the job they pretend anymore when I bought them. This is a good demonstration of your ability for customer service. With all the money you earn from us you should be able to have a technical solution.

 

You stole a technology, we pay the price… that’s not my vision of a clean world. Take your responsabilities.

 

Regards

HBZ
Community Member

My home has a Nest speaker in every room. My four family members are reliant upon Google/Nest/ Android technology. Every day for heating, lighting, music, video calls, radio, Spotify, the list goes on.

We typically use multiple speakers for most of the waking day.

 

Now. Within the Home app, SPEAKER GROUPS no longer have a CAST AUDIO option, at all. Only, 'settings'.

 

BBC SOUND app list and casts to groups and speakers perfectly.

 

For three years I cast library audio books for my children to the speakers in each of their bedrooms, using a group and the propriety library app and the Google Home app.

 

Now, Google has taken away my children's bedtime story. If you have young kids, you'll know the pain of taking loved times away from children.

 

How do some of you still have the ability to use a group and "all" that you've lost is the connected volume control?

 

Badmaamajama
Community Member

Who exactly are these “small set of users”? Cause I’ve been going crazy with google grouping and staying connected. What and who????

 

Oasis2011
Community Member

AFTER LAWSUİT OF SONOS WE COULDNT MAKE GROUP CASTİNG 

HERE İS SOLUTİON : AİRMUSİC APP 

BUY İT AND YOU CAN CAST TO GROUP 

Oasis2011_0-1644230940761.png