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Simple Google Assistant commands failing you? You're not alone. (Update: Fixed)

UPDATE: Google has now fixed this problem, although it's vague on details.
By
February 17, 2022
Google Nest Hub on a table 1
TL;DR
  • We’ve seen multiple reports around the internet of simple Google Assistant commands failing for smart home users.
  • Even basic commands such as turning off a light result in “Sorry, I didn’t understand” responses.
  • Google, in a statement, said that this problem has since been fixed.

Update, February 17, 2022 (02:35 PM ET): Google responded to our inquiry related to the Assistant problems described in the original article below. Here is the full statement from a Google spokesperson:

We’re aware that there was an issue impacting Assistant-powered devices. It has been fixed and Assistant is working as it previously did.

It appears the Google Assistant command problem is now fixed. Google didn’t give us any indication as to what the problem was nor how it was fixed. Regardless, if you’ve been facing issues, you should be in the clear now.


Original article, February 17, 2022 (11:27 AM ET): If you’re like me, you talk to Google Assistant dozens of times a day. My Google Nest Hub Max sets alarms, reminders, timers, shows me smart camera video feeds, and tells me about my day and the weather, among multiple other functions. When I issue a command and it doesn’t work, though, it can be frustrating.

Related: Google Nest Hub Max review

Unfortunately, it looks like even the most simple of Google Assistant commands are failing for many. Over the past few days, reports have popped up all over the internet related to Assistant problems within smart homes around the world. Even basic commands such as “Hey Google, turn off the kitchen lights” fail to land. Google repeatedly responds with “Sorry, I didn’t understand.”

It’s not really clear what the problem is here. Although we have reports from all over saying this is happening (such as here, here, here, and here), it’s not happening for everyone. Google Assistant commands in my home have been fine, for example. However, with all the various reports, it’s clear something is amiss.

Regardless, if you are facing problems with Assistant at the moment, you don’t appear to be alone.

Despite all the reports, Google has been silent so far on the issue. We sent a message to Google’s press team to see if we could get a statement. If we do, we will update this article accordingly.