We were sitting around the office yesterday, listening to music as we often do, when I happened across an article from TechCrunch reporting that users all over the globe were experiencing some major glitches with their Google Home and Chromecast devices.
According to the report, “some” users were experiencing issues but no further details were given other than Google was working on a fix. Poking around Twitter, it wasn’t hard to see that the outage was affecting a large number of users and there was little rhyme or reason to which devices were suffering from the bug.
As we have multiple Cast and Home devices around here, I was a bit surprised that we hadn’t felt any ill effects from the glitch that apparently affected not just the devices themselves but many a mobile app that uses the Cast API. Users were reporting that the Cast button in apps like Netflix, YouTube and HBO had just disappeared.
We're sorry to hear some of our users are experiencing issues with their Google Home and Chromecast. We're on it. Stay tuned for updates.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 27, 2018
Again, we had been casting all morning with no issues. I chalked it up to unmerited favor and went on about my business tending to other projects. Then, I remembered that the Braves were playing a day game against the Reds and Robby (still salty from the Cubbies being swept) recommended throwing it up on the TV.
So, I fired up the At Bat app to find the game was under a blackout restriction. Not to be deterred, I quickly downloaded the FoxSports Go app, logged in with my provider info and off we went.
You guessed it, no Cast button. Robby then checked YouTube TV which had the game via Fox Sports Ohio but he too was lacking the ability to cast. Then, he tried using the built-in cast function on his Pixel 2 XL just to find it couldn’t even locate the Chromecast attached to the TV or any other Cast device for that matter.
Clearly, the Chrome Unboxed office had succumbed to the dreaded outage that was crippling users around the world. Thankfully, the cast function on my Chromebook was still intact and I was able to throw the game on the big screen from the Samsung Pro.
As complaints began to pile up on Twitter and the Google Forums, some users began to blame the breakage on a recent patch that was rolled out to fix a bug that could potentially reveal a users location without their knowledge or consent. Google has neither confirmed or denied this possibility.
The Good News
On the brighter side of things, CNET has been in contact with the parties involved with the repairs at Google and as of 3:30 PT yesterday, they are declaring the bug squashed.
We’ve identified a fix for the issue impacting Google Home and Chromecast users and it will be automatically rolled out over the next 6 hours. If you would like an immediate fix please follow the directions to reboot your device. If you’re still experiencing an issue after rebooting, contact us at Google Home Support. We are really sorry for the inconvenience and are taking steps to prevent this issue from happening in the future.
Google spokesperson via CNET
Fortunately for us, the problem looks to have fixed itself without any user input. Within an hour or so of discovery, the Chromecasts around the office were all working as they should and cast capabilities had returned to the apps on our phones. If you are still experiencing issues, be sure to reboot your devices and check for updates that may not have pushed automatically. From there, we encourage you to contact Google’s support should you still have problems casting or using your Home devices.
Do so by heading to the Google Home support page and clicking the Contact Us link at the top right. I’ve chatted with this particular department on multiple occasions and they are usually very prompt and helpful in resolving issues and accepting feedback. Find the page at the link below.
Side note: the Braves lost which was the lemon juice on the paper cut of the broken Chromecast. #salty