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Google Search Is Experiencing Timer- and Alarm-Setting Problems

October 26, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Google’s array of services and apps create one of the best and most connected environments for users, Android, iOS, or desktop.  But sometimes, with so many connected apps and services, something small can go wrong with an update.  The error is small, like disconnecting an alarm app from Google Now, but the update then rolls out to everyone with an Android device not running the Lollipop preview.  And at that point, you have a massive nest of errors and problems, all from the single simple bug.

And that’s exactly what happened.  Google’s Search app, the one that contains Google Now, got updated just a few days ago on the 23rd.  The version now sits at 3.6.15.1496928.arm.  And with that update, something was wrong within the code.  What seems to be wrong is that apps that Google Now might use to set an alarm or start a timer running aren’t being used.  The service usually takes your request to set a timer or alarm, and then offers you the yes or no to keep and set it.  Now, however, there is no such prompt.  It only gives you a ‘set alarm’ or ‘set timer’ button to push at the bottom of the newly-created card.  This may seem simple and small, even though the update went out to millions of devices already.  But here’s why it should be a concern that Google needs to recognize and ameliorate, and soon

So, say the new version of Search is installed on your phone.  You have work on Monday, or an engagement of sort in the coming days, and it is important for you to get there in the morning on time.  You’re busy preparing for bed, and you say to your phone on the nightstand, “Ok Google, set an alarm for 6:15 tomorrow morning”.  Finishing up, you climb in bed and doze off.  Little did you know that the alarm was not set at all; it’s still sitting on the screen, and will be when you jump out of bed at 7:45 and check your phone. It may be hypothetical, but it still can cause real problems for people.  Maybe not massively destructive problems, but problems and bumps throughout an average day for an average user.  The problem is real, even if it is small.  Hopefully, Google can get this sorted out soon so we can go back to our lazier ways of hands-free-ness.  Have you experienced the problem with the alarms and timers, or is this the first you’re hearing of it?  Do you have the issue yourself?  Anyone running Lollipop, have you encountered the issue, or is it likely a mainstreamed, non-Material Design problem?  Let us know down below.