Opinion poll: Is Google Assistant on Home & Nest devices getting worse?

CES is usually the first major event of the year where tech companies get to showcase what they’ve been working on over the previous year and what’s in store for us enthusiasts.

Over the past few years, Google has often used this trade show to advertise Google Assistant outside its booth and on billboard ads.

This went further to show how deeply invested Google was into the smart voice assistant. But at this year’s event, Google Assistant was pretty much inconspicuous, as seen in the image below.

Click/tap to expand

What becomes immediately clear from the image is that the focus is elsewhere, something that is evidenced by the mentions of Android and presence of bugdroids in and around Google’s booth, and not Assistant like before.

This further reminds me of reports that previously claimed Google plans to cut back on efforts towards improving Assistant, which could also be the likely reason the voice assistant seems to have degraded in recent times.

Over the past couple or so years, reports regarding Google Assistant becoming worse or slightly dumber than it was originally are increasingly coming in. Understandably, this is causing frustrations among Google Assistant users.

Google subreddits (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) and support forums (1,2,3) have plenty of posts that claim Assistant is getting worse, and I second this opinion having owned a pair of Google Nest Minis for a couple of years now.


Hi everyone. I am trying to set an alarm but every time I try, my Google assistant says “sorry, I don’t understand.” I’ve said “set an alarm for 7 AM” and “wake me up at 7 AM” but it keeps saying “sorry, I don’t understand.” Anyone else having this issue or know how to fix it? It also does it when I try to play music on Spotify too. Some commands work, others don’t.

As things stand, the smart assistant is no longer smart. Google Home and Nest devices have been directly affected by the quality of the Assistant, which explains why some are now questioning the team’s existence.

Did the Google home team get made redundant? I didn’t think it was possible, but my home setup has gotten even worse. Can’t turn on the radio (that application doesn’t support this voice command / “okay playing, … ” followed by silence. Can’t turn off the radio (can after asking twice).

With how terrible the assistant has become, the entire smart home setup becomes pretty much non-functional, which is exactly what’s been happening for quite a good number of Nest owners.


When Google Assistant works, it is magical. But when it doesn’t, it’s terrible and annoying to say the least. Usually, this is due to poor voice recognition where the Assistant doesn’t understand the context of some commands.

Executing simple commands like ‘Play xxx song on Spotify’ or ‘Turn off bedroom lights‘ are often getting misinterpreted. This wasn’t the case when I first purchased my Nest, and certainly for many others.

Besides failure to understand, the Assistant at times just ignores certain commands entirely. There have also been plenty of cases where my routines simply won’t trigger, but they work fine on other occasions.


Of course, it’d be dumb to claim that every Google Assistant user has the same problems. But we can all agree that such issues go against the very essence the smart voice assistant came into existence — reliability.

With Assistant seemingly not getting any better over time, I can’t blame myself for having flashing thoughts to foray into other alternatives like Amazon Alexa, Samsung Bixby and Apple Siri. And I ain’t alone.

But then again, of the mainstream smart digital assistants, Google’s offering has often come out as the most mature and near-perfect option compared to the rest.

Google Nest Mini

If Google focused more on fixing existing bugs, the smart assistant would even be much better than it already is.

Unfortunately, Google has a new strategy that aims to focus more on hardware and less on Assistant and Google TV, which puts the future of the voice assistant into jeopardy. But time will tell.

Do let us know your thoughts in the comments and vote on the poll below as well.

Has Google Assistant on Home and Nest devices become dumber?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Featured image: Google

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.