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Google, Sonos v End-Users

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

For many years I worked for a Silicon Valley based Fortune 100 technology company. My duties revolved around very close interaction with Fortune 500 companies as well as countless smaller start-ups. My primary interactions were with founders, leadership, engineering, and the groups who support these functions, including business development.

 

This past experience gives me somewhat of an informed opinion regarding the inner workings of entities such as Google.

 

That said, the notion of, after two years pending litigation, Google not having a viable and well tested fix available for some time is, at best highly unlikely.
This notion assumes that related next generation product as well as several generations newer firmware for existing product has not been in development for some time. Again, at best highly unlikely and simply not how such companies tend to operate.

 

Now that we've set the baseline that Google is highly likely to have several working options to resolve infringing methods for managing Nest product grouping, volume changes etc., one has to ask, why would Google not deploy any available option that would satisfy both their users and Sonos.

 

My experience suggests, Google is playing games behind the scenes. To what end? There are several likely possibilities.

 

One option is, Google has intent to acquire Sonos. Leadership expectation (gamble) is that the Sonos suit will be tossed out or otherwise work in their favor. Remember, there is also the ongoing countersuit from Google. Either could theoretically drive the value of Sonos down and make for a likely much more agreeable and less costly acquisition of Sonos.

 

Perhaps Google has a card to play with Biden. Though rare, Presidential intervention has been seen in recent history. Pass or play, the Biden administration could have a major impact on how this game plays out.

 

Another possibility is that Google intends to use this issue to promote Matter, and is selling off existing inventory to make way for next gen product that will support the new protocol.

https://www.consumerreports.org/smart-home/matter-smart-home-standard-faq-a9475777045/


In past employment I have watched similar scenarios unfold, more than a few times. This is not conspiracy theory, it's how things work.

 

Blah blah blah...

 

My point is, we as end-users do not know what Google is playing at. However, we should understand that Google could push a fix out to us if it suited their ends, and we do not have to be idle pons in their game.

 

What are our options, as lowly end-users?

 

Bombarding Google from every angle possible is in my opinion the best bet for (relatively) swift resolution in favor of the end-user.

 

This means reaching out to legal (class-action etc), media, friends and family, taking out full page ads, billboards, letters to POTUS - anything to draw attention to the fact that Google is shafting it's loyal customers and that this is not a minor issue for many.

 

Have you read the media coverage thus far?

Most of it is entirely fluff and completely plays down the pain this game Google is playing has caused it's loyal customers. This has to change.

Media needs to be educated on how big of an impact this Google game is having on it's customers, many of whom have spent thousands of dollars and hours investing in an ecosystem that has had the bottom drop out. All without so much as an apology, proper solution or satisfactory communication from Google.

Also, media needs to appreciate and report that the "work arounds" offered by Google do not currently work and have not worked since early December or longer for many customers.

How many end-users have speaker pairs, not in a group, that fail to transfer to other devices and/or fail to adjust volume by voice? I do, and speaker pairs are not supposed to be impacted by this issue. The media need to be pounded into reporting on this and other ongoing issues currently being misreported and/or underreported.

Of course, coaxing the media into pushing back on Google for users is not necessarily easily done. These are folks who's bread and butter come from Google and its ilk.

 

This article may help get your wheels turning

https://www.androidpolice.com/sonos-google-faq/

 

Then there's the Google Arbitration Opt-Out

https://partnerdash.google.com/apps/devicearbitrationoptout/optoutform


Here's another place to generate attention

https://www.classaction.org/

 

On the other hand, there's always the option of hanging out and hoping Google will "do no evil"...
or
Those who can afford to do so could toss their Google setup and start over with another ecosystem.


Personally, I believe that the right thing to do is to make it known far and wide that this type of behavior from any company is not ok.

Then again, I'm retired due to physical disability and have more "free" time than most.

 

and to those who will inevitably chime in with "first world problem..." blah blah blah... It's not ok to be ripped off and ignored in any world 😉

 

tldr; Think at a higher level than boots on the ground. Spread the word of your issues to media, legal and everyone you know. Don't be an idle pon, make as much noise as you can manage.

 

As I have said in previous posts, I have no desire to stick it to Google or any other entity. I simply want the products I have purchased in good faith to operate as advertised at my time of purchase. This is not a tall order by any measure.

 

Happy New Year

 

@Suzique 

@JillG 

@GoogleNestTeam 

21 REPLIES 21

Varpa
Community Member

I like your enthusiasm in this matter. But this isn't just googles decision. It's a patent intrusion and they are forced to remove this function. But the biggest question here is:

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A PATENT ON CHANGING VOLUME ON SEVERAL DEVICES AT THE SAME TIME? 

That is just insane... Google have to hurry now and get their patent on how to listen to music synced on several devices at the same time... Just rediculous the whole thing in my pov

SamInPgh
Community Member

@Varpa  They are not "forced to remove this function". They can simply pay Sonos a licensing fee for copying the code from them while pretending to be interested in a cooperative venture. That is all Sonos is asking for. If it was as simple to do as you seem to think, others would have done it long ago and Sonos wouldn't have been able to acquire a patent in the first place, not to mention that Google would have just written their own code to do it in a different way, which they are completely free to do. Please educate yourself a little before posting your opinions to the world if you want to be taken seriously

Jake
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey all,

 

Sorry for the late reply. I wanted to follow up and see if you are still in need of any help? Please let me know if you are still having any trouble from here, as I would be happy to take a closer look and assist you further. 

Best regards,
Jake

Jake
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey all,


I wanted to check in and see if you are still in need of any help with your device? Please let me know, as I would be happy to assist, and answer any questions you may have.

Best regards,
Jake

Jake
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey all,


I want to ensure you are good to go, and everything is working properly. Please let me know if you are still having trouble, as I will be locking the thread in 24 hours due to inactivity. 

Best regards,
Jake

Jake
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey all,


It has been a few days since the last reply, and I am going to lock the thread at this time. If you have any questions, please feel free to create a new post. 

Best regards,
Jake

Gregs9plus
Community Member

Bonjour existe-t-il un moyen de contacter Google pour savoir s'ils vont nous faire un correctif ? En effet je pense que tout le monde a compris qu'on a dépensé notre argent pour rien !... Même eux. Le fait qu'il y ait des stupidités juridiques ne nous regarde pas il peut sûrement y avoir une autre façon de gérer le volume d'un groupe d'enceinte ils ont quand même des ingénieurs et juristes en grand nombre ! 

pcburcham
Community Member

However ridiculous it may be, Google violated another company's patent and knew it. Don't fool yourselves into thinking that Google is "thick" and had no idea that a patent existed on such a trivial function, and don't get bogged down with the fact that a patent for such a trivial function exists. 

I don't blame them for doing what every large corporation under the sun does, which is violate everyone else's intellectual property like it's 1999 until it is challenged. I blame them for not doing what every other large corporation under the sun does when they are found guilty of copyright infringement in a court of law, and that is to pat the smaller company on the head and say, "Alright kid. We'll pay you the royalties like we should have all along." Long story short:

 

Sonos files a valid patent > Google knowingly violates patent > Sonos rightfully defends patent > YOU PAY (again)

 

For the record, I own several Google products and use many of their services. I don't own the first Sonos product.

Gregs9plus
Community Member

I'm ok with you

Sonos dépose un brevet valide > Google viole sciemment un brevet > Sonos défend à juste titre le brevet > VOUS PAYEZ (encore)

 

Muzlu_kek
Community Member

Bozuk olan psikolojimi daha cok bozdular daha ne diyimki bugün benim doğum günüm)

SamInPgh
Community Member

Thank you for this very thoughtful and informative post. Here is another good article detailing Sonos' side of the story.

Screenshot_2022-01-10-23-01-12.jpg

Google stole from Sonos who was awarded several absurd patents.

 

The system most definitely did not work.

 

While these corporations duke it out the end users who have funded these corporations get shafted.

This is not acceptable.

 

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

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

 

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

 

Way to go Google

Hi there. I read another comment from a physically disabled individual. That makes three that I know of so far, including me. I think this is one way to get news traction and or some additional interest and expedience from Google itself. And even though I think their non-Google-Adwords efforts are poor (I've had too many experiences like Hangouts and Messages), I am STILL a Google fanboy and have all things Google; I'm not biased against the company at all... though I find this change and last-minute notification reprehensible. For some time now I've marveled at Google's zest and willingness to upset such enormous numbers of people. 

I found my comment(s) as well as others here quoted in a few web articles. No desire to be famous or get involved with legal issues, I just want my products to work as advertised at my time of purchase. That said, selling my devices with the hope of netting enough to jump to another ecosystem is not likely. My hope is that Google steps up and offers real communication and a proper fix. Assuming Google continues to jerk everyone around, I suppose I'll have to join any customer driven suit(s) in order to replace nonfunctional devices with something that works as mine once did.

 

I am so very disappointed with Google...

 

I agree: I just want them to work like they did before.

Before: Just work.

Now: Have large house and perhaps 15 total devices as well as a mesh network. As I walk from room to room I must manually change the volume (as in touch the physical device), because moving my phone from room to room causes speakers in other areas to drop. 

Oddly, if I go into any one of my speaker groups I cannot get to the adjust volume settings, so I must go back and scroll through my large list of devices and adjust there.

This is most certainly not what I paid for; which had already taken a hit since (of course) Google discontinued Google audio chromecast, so can't rely on those either.

I fear that when it comes down to it, a class action suit may be required - one that will take years - and one that itself won't amount to much. I'm sure all the purchase receipts will be required. 

What a "first world" yet truly disappointing turn of events.

p.s. I read all those articles yesterday and came away from them more pessimistic than optimistic, particularly since rooting is a pain in the ass and almost never a truly permanent solution. Thanks for inspiring such stimulating discussion. I, too, an in the tech industry, similar story to yours, but I must admit your sounds so much more interesting.

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

NotMyName
Community Member

Ok so I am pretty sure I just figured out a very simple fix. I have my google nest mini speakers set in different groups, “all speakers”, “upstairs”, etc. while I can’t change volume on all speakers in the group at once I can change the volume on individual ones by voice. I say “ Hey google, set volume to 7 on kitchen speaker” and voila the volume changes on the named speaker.  The key seems to be to use the word “set”. No other combo of words seem to work. I can’t say change, lower, turn up or anything else that I tried. I’ve been doing this all over the house for the last ten minutes and it appears to work on my WiFi point as well as my nest minis. I think my stuff is all generation 2. 

pbman
Community Member

I will definitely check to see if this works here. Thanks!!!! Fingers crossed.

FixSpkrPairVol
Community Member

For the past few days, only in the early morning hours, my Minis respond to voice volume commands as they did before the ~15 Dec downgrade. Unfortunately, by midday or sooner they are back to, "I'm sorry...". Some days I get only three or four changes at the beginning of the day, then back to broken.

 

Now my morning music alarm is not working. I get beeps instead of music when the alarm is set with my Bedtime routine. When I use the exact same words in my Bedtime routine as an anytime vocal command, I get music as expected. Grrr...

 

Then there's the whole sleep/relax sound issue for the past several days. Though there was a very brief response from Google here and the 'white noise' was fixed (after a flood of media attention), the 'ocean sounds' is new and not as good as the old one. Since ocean didn't get mentioned in the media I assume I'll be stuck with the new one or maybe I can find a suitable replacement on YouTube.

 

The whole Google Home ecosystem has been turned inside out since mid-December (for me).

 

I picked up these Google devices to make life easier and more pleasant, and while I did have exactly what I wanted for a bit, everything turned on its head and now I mostly get frustration. 

 

I wish I had chosen Alexa or Siri...

 

 

Hey folks,
It looks like we haven't heard back from the OP so I'm going to go ahead and lock the thread. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to create a new thread.

Have a great day,
Garrett DS