In an unexpected turn of events, Google Assistant users are reporting issues with scheduling actions for devices configured as outlets. This sudden change is leaving users frustrated as they can no longer automate the turning on and off of lights, switches, and power outlets based on specific times of the day. The problem seems to have emerged after a recent update, disrupting routines that have been functioning seamlessly for years.

Google has yet to officially explain the reason behind this shift, but a forum product expert has confirmed that the issue is being investigated. Some speculate it’s a precautionary measure to address potential safety risks associated with automatically controlling outlets, while others believe it’s a bug or unintended consequence of a recent update.

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Previously, Google Assistant required users to classify smart plugs as specific devices such as light, TV, or fan to enable scheduled actions like “turn on in 1 hour.” However, users are now facing challenges even when renaming their devices, as Google Assistant remains aware that the device is an outlet. This shift in behavior has rendered many established routines useless, affecting functionalities like turning off lights or appliances after a set duration.

Numerous users have expressed their concerns on Reddit and the Google Assistant community forum, highlighting the impact on their daily lives and the significant investments made in smart home ecosystems. One affected user lamented, “I have a few thousand dollars invested in something completely wasted.” Another disappointed user argued that “If you are truly worried about accountability, put a checkbox to select that you have read and understand the repercussions. Not happy GOOGLE!”

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Some common themes among the complaints include:

    1. Long-standing schedules broken: Users who had relied on automated lighting and power management for years are now facing the inconvenience of manually controlling their devices.
    2. Workarounds no longer working: Attempts to bypass the new Google Assistant restriction against scheduling actions by configuring outlets as different device types, like lights or fans, are no longer successful. Although it’s been suggested that using Samsung’s SmartThings app could be your ticket out of this hole.
    3. Disruption to daily life: Users are lamenting the impact on their daily routines, from automatic coffee makers to bedtime TV shutoffs.

The comments paint a picture of a smart home ecosystem suddenly gone dark, with users feeling disappointed and frustrated by the lack of communication and transparency from Google. Some are beginning to question the value of their smart home investments if core functionalities like scheduling are suddenly removed.

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But at least we know the issue is being investigated. However, Google hasn’t provided a timeline for a fix or offered any specific details about the rationale behind the change. This lack of information only adds to the frustration of users who are left in the dark about the fate of their smart home routines. This issue also raises important questions about the balance between safety, convenience, and user control in the ever-evolving world of home automation.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this article as more information becomes available.

Featured image: Google

Hillary Keverenge
2132 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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