Technology

Google secretly changed the main feature and everyone has the same complaint

GOOGLE fans were left upset after the search giant changed a popular feature loaded into its speakers and smartphones.

Users say the company has changed the white noise sounds available through Google Assistant, Google’s artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant.

Google Assistant is a virtual assistant installed on the company's smart speakers and Android phones

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Google Assistant is a virtual assistant installed on the company’s smart speakers and Android phonesCredit: Alamy

Assistant, which works similarly to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, provides a variety of ambient sounds that users can elicit with voice commands.

One for white noise – which sounds like a radio tuned to an unused frequency – helps block out the sound to make it easier to sleep or study.

Google appears to have changed its white noise sounding last week as part of a software update rolling out to Assistant, the feature in the company’s smart speakers and Android phones.

The new shorter and quieter clip caused an unexpected shift in many users’ bedtime habits – and everyone was not satisfied.

They took to Twitter, Reddit, and the Google Nest Community forums to complain, telling stories of their upset kids’ bedtime tantrums.

One person tweeted: “Hey @Google – why did you change your white noise sounds between your nap and bedtime today? You made it quite difficult for us to deal with from toddler our go who has the same noise since birth.”

They signed their post: “Sincerely, a weary mother.”

Another parent tweeted: “Hey @Google. Whoever decided to change the .wav file you use for White Noise on your Google Home device just caused a fifteen-hour tantrum.”

They added: “Like it’s been the same .wav file for six years why is this necessary”.

And a third wrote: “Google changed the default white noise sound on Nest speakers, so guess I’ll never sleep again.”

Google has not provided a reason for changing the white noise clip, which now lasts ten minutes before repeating.

On the Google Nest forums, some people describe the new sound as quieter or more muffled.

It’s unclear if the company plans to tweak the sound in some way to address the complaints.

The Sun has reached out to Google for comment.

The tech giant launched Assistant in 2016 as a voice-activated helper for users of their phones and smart home products.

Like rivals Siri and Alexa, it has the ability to search the internet, control your music, and activate smart devices in your home.

As well as white noise, the digital companion comes equipped with other ambient sounds including rain, crackling fireplace and ocean waves.

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And, one of the The best preserved fossils was found that confirmed that juvenile dinosaurs popped out of their shells like baby birds.


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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8223780/google-secretly-changes-key-feature/ Google secretly changed the main feature and everyone has the same complaint

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