Update, October 24, 2019 (02:10 PM ET): Originally, we deduced that any Google Home or Google Home Mini smart speakers bricked by the recent update described below would not be replaced by Google. However, it appears that was incorrect.
According to 9to5Google, the company reached out to explain that anyone with a bricked smart speaker due to the firmware update can get a replacement, even if the device is out-of-warranty. Here’s Google’s statement:
We are aware that a small number of Google Home and Google Home Mini devices are affected by an issue that causes the device to stop working. We have a fix that will prevent the issue from happening and will be rolling it out soon. We are replacing affected devices.
Google doesn’t give explicit instructions on how affected users will obtain their replacements. We have reached out to Google for clarification and will post a set of instructions once we know them. In the meantime, rest assured that your bricked smart speaker will get replaced!
Original article, October 23, 2019 (04:23 AM ET): Google Home and Home Mini speakers are pretty handy, offering Google Assistant and casting capabilities in a neat form factor. Unfortunately, it seems like recent firmware updates for these speakers are causing major issues.
Users on the Google support forum and reddit (h/t: Android Police) have reported unresponsive Home and Home Mini speakers. The issue was actually raised on the support platform last month, so it seems to have been happening for a while now.
Users from around the world seem to be suffering with the issue too, with reports from Brazil, France, Germany, India, Taiwan, the US, and more. But a Google representative has noted that the issue isn’t affecting all speakers for some reason.
The common thread seems to be that all four LED lights on the speakers are lit up and stay that way (see above post), with the speaker refusing to respond otherwise. Owners also report unplugging and plugging in the smart speakers, trying to connect through the Home app, and holding down the factory reset button for 15 seconds. But these solutions don’t seem to be working for everyone.
Making matters worse is the fact that Google is apparently refusing to issue replacements for out-of-warranty speakers. It’s believed the company’s own firmware updates could be responsible for the issue. If the issue is indeed Google’s own doing and they’re refusing to replace fully bricked, out of warranty devices, it’s definitely a sad state of affairs.
A Google representative has since issued an update on the matter this week, saying the team is working on a fix. But there’s no indication of a cause or fix timeline just yet.
“It has been very difficult for our team to diagnose this issue and we understand why many of you have been frustrated with this ongoing process,” read the official response on the support forum. “Our support team will be reaching out to customers on this thread via private messaging to further address this issue and come to a resolution.”
Is your Google Home or Google Home Mini suffering from this issue? Let us know in the comments!