Google Smart Speaker - Setting a timer "a" recently added in the request?

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Wondering if anyone else has noticed this change that happened over this past week?

I used to set timers on Google smart speakers using the following command:
"Hey google, set 3 minute timer"

And this has worked perfectly for years.
But just this week something odd happened. I said this, and it replied with something like "Ok, 1 minute timer started"

I could ask for 2 mins, 3 mins, 4 mins and it just set a 1 minute timer.

If however I said: "Hey Google set a timer for 3 minutes"
then it worked fine. But not "Hey Google set 3 minute timer"

Just did a little test with my home hub, and I can see it does correctly identify me saying 3 minutes.
A further test has shown what's happened. They have added the requirement for the word "A" to be used since around the beginning of this week.

So.
"Hey Google set 3 minute timer" = it will incorrectly set a 1 minute timer.
"Hey Google set a 3 minute timer" = It will correctly set a 3 minute timer.

Has anyone else noticed this change this week?
 

AndroidUser

Active Member
I am using Google Assistant, and not in English.

I am using the command "Hey google, timer 3 minutes" because it is shorter. Not sure if this works for you.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I am using Google Assistant, and not in English.

I am using the command "Hey google, timer 3 minutes" because it is shorter. Not sure if this works for you.

Thanks, yes that works.
Handy to know.
It just throws you a bit when you have gotton so used to using one particular phrase that you don't even think about it anymore, and they go and chance something very slightly so you need to re-learn a slightly different way of saying something.
 

AndroidUser

Active Member
Thanks, yes that works.
Handy to know.
It just throws you a bit when you have gotton so used to using one particular phrase that you don't even think about it anymore, and they go and chance something very slightly so you need to re-learn a slightly different way of saying something.
well, what throws me a bit is repeating the same phrase over and over like an idiot and this stupid Assistant just doesn't get the message. And my wife is laughing her butt off.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
well, what throws me a bit is repeating the same phrase over and over like an idiot and this stupid Assistant just doesn't get the message. And my wife is laughing her butt off.

Sounds like a fun passtime :)

Honestly I don't have too much of that, I think perhaps I use the same type of commands generally so I get into a routine which works most of the time.
The only issue can be getting it to hear me over the top of something which is already playing, and just once in a while I'm sure they make some change and it takes a while to all settle back down again.

I'd not wish to ever be without them around the home now, as they are part of my day to day life.
I will however admit, it's sad that, over the past few years of owning them I'd not say they have gotten any smarter. Sure they can link to more things/control more things.
But it does not seem like Google or Amazon have really put any fresh new work into the actual intelligence side of things.
 

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