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Whenever something goes wrong with an app or a service that can potentially affect users, whether that's a security breach, or some other kind of service interruption, we always appreciate when the company involved clearly discloses what's going on to its users. After all, depending on the severity of the issue, they may want to take some steps to keep their data safe. But for as much we appreciate such heads-up warnings, it can be a little frustrating when they're exceptionally light on details. And that's just the kind of situation we're looking at now, as Google raises the alarm about a bug affecting Assistant.


An email coming from the Google Assistant team (yet sent by the Workspace team) starting landing in the inboxes of some users earlier this week, acknowledging the discovery of a bug affecting the Google Assistant and enrolled devices. Google is no stranger to bugs, but aside from saying that this bug apparently disabled personal routines and the "Hey Google" hotword, there's not much to go on about just what's happening here, what it's caused by, and what devices are affected.

The message instructs recipients to check their Assistant settings and make sure everything is OK when they use it — we suppose that if something looks out of place, then that means you're affected. The email does mention that the company will be in touch with more information, but it doesn't say when.

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Thanks: Mishaal

While we appreciate a warning when something's gone wrong, this one definitely raises more question than it answers. Don't get us wrong — as we said before, disclosing issues is excellent practice, even if they're minor. But Google is not normally one to send out this kind of email notice, and even then, we'd hope for some deeper insight into what's gone wrong, or at least how it's being fixed.

This initial email was then followed up by a second with some new information, this time coming from the Nest team. And while this new message helps define the scope more clearly, spelling out how Digital Wellbeing is involved, we're still very curious what might be causing all these problems. Once again, Google mentions its intent to follow up with more information later.

Thanks: Mishaal

If you've noticed Google Assistant acting all wonky, this is your sign to go check on your settings and make sure your routines all look good. We've reached out to Google in the hopes of learning more about what's going wrong, who's being affected, and what a resolution might look like.


Second email

This post has been updated with the contents of a second email from Google, headed out to users.