The Google Assistant is currently having an issue, across phones and smart speakers, causing it to be unable to control smart home devices, instead simply replying “I don’t understand.”
Update: The issue now appears to have been resolved.
The big appeal of the Google Assistant is the ability to use your voice to ask for specific information and control the (potentially many) lights, plugs, and other smart devices in your home. For example, you can walk into a dark room and say “Hey Google, turn on the lights” to a nearby speaker, and the Assistant will usually comply, brightening the room.
However, that ideal isn’t the case this morning, as the Google Assistant seems to be unable to correctly respond to smart home related requests. Regardless of what specifically you ask the Assistant to do, if your Google Home devices are involved, the Assistant will reply “Sorry, I don’t understand” or “Sorry, I didn’t understand.”
From our testing, the issue seems to be quite widespread, as we’ve directly confirmed it happening in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The issue is also present across the Assistant on Android phones and on Nest smart speakers/displays.
Update 9:40am: As noted by readers in the comments below and verified on our own devices, it appears that Google has resolved this particular issue with the Assistant and it’s now able to control smart home products as normal.
Thankfully, more general queries to the Assistant — such as asking about the weather or for the hours of a local business — seem to work as expected. Only smart home controls are currently affected. The issue also appears to be specific to the Google Assistant, as controlling smart home devices through the Google Home app also continues to work normally.
Issues like this are often short-lived, but it’s undeniably frustrating when one’s typical routine is disrupted. We’ll be keeping an eye on this Google Assistant issue over the next few hours, and hopefully it won’t be long before it’s able to once again “understand” how to control smart home products. Be sure to let us know in the comments whether you’re seeing this issue in your own smart home.
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