Google devices and apps have experienced serious outages that lasted for more than 12 hours and affected millions of users.
The issue affected Google Home and Google Home Mini – speakers that respond to voice commands – as well as Chromecast – a device that plugs into a television and allows people to watch video content.
Users were angry at both the length of the outage and the lack of information from Google about it, once it had been identified. Google has not given a reason why these devices went down, only apologising for the service problems and identifying a fix for the issues.
The bug meant that when some Google Home owners asked a question of their speaker, it responded: “There was a glitch, try again in a few seconds.” If they tried to reset the device, it would sometimes fail to reboot.
|Google Home and Chomecast devices failed to work for 12 hours after a glitch that affected users across the world. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
People reported that they could not get anything to stream on Chromecast or use Chromecast to connect to other devices.
Users on the US west coast began alerting Google to the outages on Tuesday evening Pacific time. Google originally responded on Twitter by telling people that they may not have set up their Chromecast or Google Home correctly.
But Google’s Twitter account was soon inundated with complaints from around the world, including Spain, Ireland, India Argentina and New Zealand. Google said it had “received reports from users globally” and that through Wednesday their “phone support [was] experiencing an unusually high call volume”.
“The fact that it’s been twelve hours my Chromecast has not been working and we’re only now finding out there’s an issue because of @madebygoogle that is ridiculous,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another said: “Can we get some info on what’s going on? I was unaware there was an issue and factory reset my Google home and it still isn’t working.”
It took Google more than 12 hours to come up with a fix for the bugs, which it announced on Wednesday afternoon PST and said would roll out automatically over the next six hours. Users who wanted to get up and running sooner could do so by rebooting their device.
Google did not respond to questions from the Guardian about the cause of the glitch, but issued a statement saying:
“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. We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.”The Guardian