Google Assistant has been crowned the smartest digital phone assistant many times over. But it turns out there’s one thing it’s not particularly great at: switching itself off to prevent screen burn-in. Yikes. Here’s what causes the bug and how to fix it.
As discovered by Android Police reporter Artem Russakovskii, a new bug in Google Assistant is causing screens to freeze after users say “Hey, Google.”
Love it when my Google devices hear me say Hey Google, realize I'm talking to the Google Home, and THEN NEVER TURN OFF THEIR SCREENS.
Presumably, this Pixel 3 will remain on until the heat death of the universe or its screen catches fire, whichever comes first. pic.twitter.com/5paCoU9xi1
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) October 9, 2019
As noted in the above tweet, the bug is caused when users attempt to communicate with their Google Home device. Saying “Hey Google” or “Okay Google” also triggers the app on their phone, which then refuses to switch off.
In short, having multiple active devices in earshot of one another can cause Google Assistant to freak out. The phone then gets stuck in the active position.
As Android Police warns, this has the potential to cause serious issues:
If left to their own devices, having Assistant stuck on could cause problems, such as inconvenient battery drain or worse, devastating screen burn-in on LED-based handsets.
The bug is apparently more prevalent in Google Pixel devices although there are also reports of it cropping up on OnePlus and Essential phones. Curiously, the bug only occurs intermittently; devices known to be affected will sometimes stay on and other times switch off without incident.
How to fix it
In the meantime, your best bet is to switch off the ‘Access with Voice Match’ tool on your phone. Here are the steps, courtesy of Google’s official support page:
- Touch and hold the Home button
- In the bottom right, tap the ‘Explore & Your stuff’ icon
- In the top right, tap your profile picture or initial and then Settings and then Assistant
- Under “Assistant devices,” select your phone or tablet
- Turn off Access with Voice Match
You’ll still be able to use Google Assistant on your phone, but will now need to touch and hold the Home button (if you have a Pixel 2 or 3, you can also squeeze it to activate Google Assistant.)
Bear in mind that you only really need to worry about this if you own multiple Google Assistant devices. If you just have the one Android phone and no Google Home products in your house, you should be fine.
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[Via Android Police]