Google Home

Google Home and Chromecast suffers half-day outage

Millions of Google-made devices went down worldwide for more than 12 hours with no explanation, infuriating users.

The outage affected Google Home and Google Home Mini – Google’s popular smart speakers – as well as Chromecast, which allows video (such as for video conference or for watching Netflix) to be displayed on a larger screen. When users asked their smart speakers a question or gave it a command, it would respond by saying that: “There was a glitch, try again in a few seconds,” while Chromecast failed to connect to other devices.

Users became increasingly frustrated as the outage continued for hours without explanation from Google, and attempts to reboot the device failed to solve the problem. There have been unconfirmed claims that the outage could have been caused by a recent update.

Via its @madebyGoogle Twitter account, Google staff began by suggesting that users may not have set up their devices properly. After it became apparent that the problem was affecting users worldwide, Google apologised to users on Twitter, but has not yet explained why the problem occurred.

After approximately 12 hours of downtime, Google found a fix and advised users to reboot their devices in order to get them running again immediately.

“We’ve identified a fix for the issue impacting Google Home and Chromecast users and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours. If you would like an immediate fix please follow the directions to reboot your device. If you’re still experiencing an issue after rebooting, contact us at Google Home Support,” the company said in a statement.

“We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.”

Not everyone was sympathetic to device owners unable to use their devices during the outage, however, as the tasks performed by smart speakers – such as turning on the lights or ordering pizza – can be performed with a few clicks or taps. Gadgets news site Gizmodo provided a tongue-in-cheek report of the issue headlined: ‘Google Home and Chromecast Outrages Leave Users With Plenty of Other Things to Do.

Meanwhile, Slack – the cloud-based work collaboration service – also suffered an outage for approximately three hours yesterday, forcing millions of people to remove their headphones and speak to their colleagues. The cause of this disruption also remains unknown.

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