Google Loses its Halo

I bought a Google Nexus Player set-top box and now I hate Google.

Why? Because Google no longer cares about its customers. Well, I don’t know if they ever did, but now they aren’t even pretending to. For a few days my Nexus Player was awesome. The included remote with built-in microphone was just what I wanted. It performed just as advertised. My 2 three year old twins loved being able to search Youtube for ¬†for “Peppa Pig”, “Paw Patrol”or “Solar System Song” and I was happy to look up stuff without having to resort to a clunky onscreen keyboard. It had some quirks, like not being able to display the weather in Celcius but I forgave them and figured they’d iron out the wrinkles soon enough. But then voice search stopped working. And now many months later, it still does not work. Oh sure I looked up the issue online and found countless others with the exact same problem, but strangley, no word from Google. The online community had narrowed down the problem to an update that broke the voice search. Rolling the app back to the previous version fixed the issue, thus showing that it wasn’t a harware problem. It seemed to be an easy fix for Google since all they had to do was reissue the old version with a newer version number and all would be good. Or they could spend some of their billions of dollars to pay an engineer for a few hours of time to fix the issue more properly. But guess what? Google forced an update of the OS to all Nexus Players with no option for the customer to refuse it. And did the update fix the issue? No, and even worse, now there was no longer a way to roll the software back to a working version. Now there wasn’t even a hack available to keep the device operating. Google remained silent on the issue, not worried about how this might tarnish their image. I phoned Google’s tech support and they offered to exchange the device for a new one. I explained that it wouln’t fix anything since it’s a software issue, but, of course, Google’s tech support is no better than Comcast’s or ATT and I got nowhere. Somehow they were not aware of this issue even though it has existed for months. Here are some quotes from one forum on the issue:

  1. Same Issue here. Doesn’t execute the search after voice input. Why is this taking so long.
  2. Nexus Player is great except for this glaring issue google help
  3. I have the same problem, i cant use the voice search with android 6.0
  4. Just purchased a new Nexus Player, updated to 6.0 straight away, voice commands don’t work. Microphone is fine, and the input registers on the search bar, but no results are shown.
  5. Google won’t even say “we’re working on it”
  6. Same here. When I tried voice search, words are shown on screen, but it does not search. Will google fix the bug in next update?
  7. My Nexus player updated and Google voice stop working as well
  8. I brought a nexus player about a week ago and it immediately updated out of the nox to 6.0 and the search has never worked from new. Has anyone resolved this issue?
  9. Scary part of all of this is that Google is a software company, a company that is testing autonomous vehicles driven by software in the real world where mistakes could mean real lives. But they can’t fix or put out proper software in the first place for a media player, makes me suspicious of what they can do properly… It’s the very trust that they are breaking now that they will need in the future for their big products. They underestimate the impact this issue has on their brand and their trust relationship with the public.

And on and on and on for months. You can see https://productforums.google.com/forum/m/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!msg/nexus/tAp7UyevToU/8PaBSvdbAAAJ for more.

So would I buy a Google Nexus self-driving car? Like the poster of point 9 above so elquently stated, They are breaking their trust. This is not free ad-supported beta software we are talking about here. This is Google branded hardware that customers have paid real money for. I loved my Nexus 7 tablets (I bought both iterations) and I loved my Nexus Player for a few days when it still worked. But my trust in Google is gone. They took $100 out of my wallet refuse to give it back. Not even a “sorry” for the trouble. You know what Google, or Alphabet or whatever the heck you decided to call yourself today? I’m no longer going to recommend gmail for my non-techie friends. Outlook.com is looking pretty good last time I checked. And next time someone brings up autonomous vehicles at a party, you know what I’m going to bring up? Yeah, you bet I’m going to bring up your microphone “update” I wouldn’t trust you with my life. Not anymore.

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