Android smartphones, battery drain, Google bug to blame

A rather annoying bug is plaguing Android smartphones and Google Assistant, draining the device's battery. Here's what's happening

Saying "Ok Google" to the Google Home smart speaker in your living room could drain your Android smartphone's battery.

The problem is very simple: the "hotword", i.e. the keyword that activates the Google Assistant, is the same for both smartphones and smart speakers. It happens, so, that when we pronounce it, besides activating Google Home, Assistant is also activated on the smartphone, waiting for a command even if in the meantime the smart speaker has responded to the user. This, in the best case, consumes the battery while in the worst case can damage the screen, which no longer turns off. Reports of this bug are still not very numerous, perhaps also due to the low popularity of smart speakers compared to Android smartphones, but unfortunately there is still no solution to the problem.

Numerous reports

This behavior is sporadic, but apparently it has been reported to Google for some time now. The first report dates back to September, on Google's official support forum. Apparently, the devices most affected by the bug are the Pixel and OnePlus 6T. One user, for example, claims to have found one morning his OnePlus with the screen on and only 1% of battery remaining: the device, in practice, has carped a command the night before and was waiting for orders all night with the screen on.

Similar behavior is also reported with some Pixel Slate, Google's tablets. The news came out because, among the users who have experienced this annoying bug, there is also Artem Russakovskii, an editor at Android Police. A second contributor of the same test, Taylor Kerns, had the same problem with a Pixel Slate but, in this case, the Assistant showed on screen the message "Answering on another device", "I'm listening on another device". Google's Assistant, then, is capable of "sorting" commands across multiple devices, and blocking on mobile devices would seem to be an easy mistake to correct. But, apparently, this is not the case.

There is no solution

At the moment, there doesn't seem to be a solution to this annoying bug, but it also seems that it only affects a very small percentage of devices. The advice is to monitor the behavior of your smartphone if there is also a smart speaker in the house. Especially if the phone has an LCD display, in fact, the screen may be damaged if it is not turned off for several consecutive hours.