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Google Home devices in Preview Program are in danger of being bricked by update

The instance of a software update bricking a device is nothing new. In the best of cases, the company reimburses customers for their damaged devices. In the worst outcomes, people are out of luck and out of money. Last year, a Google update for Google Assistant accidentally bricked some Home and Home Mini devices, but the search engine giant replaced each broken device free of charge to the customer.

Now, another update is posing a threat to Google Home devices, but the good news is that not all devices are at risk. Only devices in the Preview Program are vulnerable to the update, and of those, it seems that only the original Google Home unit is at risk. If the device is bricked, the LEDs at the top of the device will turn orange and flash and it won’t respond to hotwords.

According to 9to5Google, some users managed to restore functionality by resetting the devices, but others experienced the opposite — after resetting the device, the unit could not connect to their network at all.

While the obvious problem is that the update is bricking devices, the secondary problem is that no one is quite sure what is causing the issue. At this point, there’s been no official word from Google about the problem and no solution as to how to circumvent the issue. Unofficially, some users have simply disconnected their at-risk devices until Google releases a patch that fixes it or one that avoids the bricking of Google Home units.

The Google Nest Preview Program lets users test drive the latest features before they are released to the public and provides users the opportunity to provide feedback to Google, good or bad, on the new update. While this sounds like a “beta” program to many people, Google specifically states that any features released on the Preview Program are of the same quality as those released to all users. It just gives those in the Preview Program a chance to experience and test these features before others, and provides Google a chance to make last-minute updates and improvements to the features.

Since the original story released, a Google spokesperson has reached out and provided the following statement: “We’ve resolved a server configuration issue that caused a small number of people to have trouble using their Google Home. A fix has been released and devices should recover with no action required from users.”

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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