An annoying, legally mandated change
Earlier this week, Google was dealt a severe blow in its patent infringement litigation with Sonos. The US International Trade Commission found the company guilty of infringing Sonos’ intellectual property rights. Because of this, Google was forced to remove the uniform volume controls for the speaker group. In the future, users will have to adjust the volume of each speaker individually, completely removing the ability to control it using the phone’s volume buttons. A new Google Home app update (v18.104.22.168) is now with the regressions in tow.
In the latest Google Home app, pressing the volume rocker on the media screen will adjust your phone’s volume. Previously, the same action changed the volume of a loudspeaker or an entire group of loudspeakers. You now need to adjust the speaker output using the virtual slider in the Home app.
I’m used to tapping the cast play notification on my phone’s notification bar to get to the speaker play volume. Granted, this change makes the process even more frustrating as the volume controls are no longer as seamless. What was previously a two-tap operation now requires my attention and playing around with a virtual slider, especially when controlling a group of speakers.
The way to avoid this change for now is to make sure you don’t install the latest Google Home update. However, this workaround will likely be temporary. While it is currently possible to control the full volume of the speaker group directly from your Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, this feature will also be available in the near future. As indicated by Google, speaker groups will continue to work, aside from these pesky changes. However, some third-party speakers with Cast support from JBL or Lenovo need to be updated to a new firmware version in order to maintain full functionality. In our FAQ you can find out more about the Sonos vs. Google Tiff and what the ITC decision means for future Google devices.
Talk about out of date
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