Some Android phone and tablet users are reporting a bug with Google Assistant, which causes their device's screen to stay powered on indefinitely after hearing the wake phrase 'Hey Google', which could cause a host of problems from battery drain to permanent screen damage.
This is seriously frustrating for people who own other devices (such as Google Home smart speakers) that are activated using the same spoken command.
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Several staff members from Android Police noticed that their phones and tablets weren't going back to sleep after recognizing that the wake command was intended for a different device.
This is a serious battery drain (even with dark mode activated), and a potential security risk as it leaves the device unlocked. It could also lead to images being burned into the screens of LCD devices.
Love it when my Google devices hear me say Hey Google, realize I'm talking to the Google Home, and THEN NEVER TURN OFF THEIR SCREENS.Presumably, this Pixel 3 will remain on until the heat death of the universe or its screen catches fire, whichever comes first. pic.twitter.com/5paCoU9xi1October 9, 2019
The same problem has been reported periodically on the Google support forums since September. It mostly seems to affect Google Pixel and Google Home devices, though one OnePlus 6T owner found their phone awake with its battery at 1% hours after Google Assistant detected the wake phrase.
The cause of the problem has yet to be identified, and it appears to be intermittent, but we'll keep you updated if a fix emerges. In the meantime, we recommend keeping an eye on your phone every now and then (particularly if you own other devices with Google Assistant) so you can turn the screen off manually if necessary.
Via Android Police
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Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)