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Google Assistant Routines seem to be working on third-party speakers

Google Assistant Routines
Google Assistant Routines (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Google Assistant has only had custom routines for a few months now, but it's made quite the impression, especially with the scheduled routines option that rolled out the ability to schedule routines so that they activate on a specific Google Assistant speaker at specific days and times. Scheduled, custom routines make Google Assistant my favorite alarm clock, but there's been a slight snag in using them the last two weeks.

They weren't working on any Google Assistant speakers outside the Google Home line.

Updated September 14, 2018: Routines are working again; Continued Conversation is not

Voice-activated and scheduled routines have begun working on third-party Google Assistant-powered speakers again for many users who reported the original problem on the Google Assistant Help Community. As a note when testing scheduled Routines on both of my third-party speakers, the first scheduled routines I tested with both speakers failed but every scheduled routine since has been working properly. Continued Conversation is still broken on third-party speakers, but at least Routines are working again.

Insignia Voice users have been the most vocal about Routines being broken, both on /r/GoogleHome and on the Google Assistant Help Community, but users of other Google Assistant speakers including the Sony S50G, the TicHome Mini, and JBL Link speakers have reported Google Assistant Routines failing in the following ways:

  • Scheduled routines stopped firing after weeks of consistent performance
  • Custom routines that date back to the Shortcuts days were suddenly producing "I don't know how to help with that yet"
  • "Good morning" still seemed to work, but not "good night," nor any of the other ready-made routines

Since Google Assistant doesn't have a support line, only Google Home, users who contact Google through the Home app or Google Home website are being told to contact the manufacturers. That said, with the impacts being felt across most if not all third-party Google Assistant speakers, this seems to be a server-side issue on Google's end. Some Google Home users have been seeing more sporadic issues with Routines the last two weeks, but none of the persistent failures that third-party Google Assistant speakers are seeing.

Insignia Voice and Google Home

In my testing, routines are failing altogether on TicHome Mini and Insignia Voice while my Google Home is still executing scheduled and voice-activated routines. The Music action in And then play... for routines now seems locked to the primary music service, whereas before you could specify an alternate music service, but otherwise, Routines are working normally on Google Home.

Are ready-made or custom routines working on your Google Assistant speakers? Can you schedule custom routines and are they actually firing at the designated times? Let us know in the comments below!

Updated September 14, 2018: This post has been updated with the appearance of a fix for routines on third-party Google Assistant speakers.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

15 Comments
  • I'm not sure if Google is incompetent or they just don't care about third-party speakers using the Google Voice Assistant. They just do not care. Two weeks is a long time. Seriously, heads need to roll!
  • So frustrating. Routines and continued conversation on my Insignia device are broken. Both worked perfectly until about two weeks ago. I guess the one bright spot is that it's not just me. I was going to get a second Insignia device but if G is not going to fix this what's the point? So disappointing....both functions were extremely cool...
  • My Insignia clock stopped at executing routines days ago. I was going to do a bunch of troubleshooting but now I know it's not just me. Contact the manufacturer? Seriously, Google?
  • Googles stuff is great so long as they support it. But like most google things, they stop supporting it after a few years. Allo, hangouts, voice, glass, fiber, etc. I realize those products I just mentioned aren't all gone but they might as well be.
  • My Insignia speaker stopped running them about 10 days ago. Also, Continued Conversations no longer work on the Insignia. Don't know about other third party speakers.
  • Yup, continued conversation also was working and got disabled after a short while, been about a month since and no word from Google. Both on my Insignia and Sony S50G speakers. Connected one of my Home Minis to test, and sure enough it was working for both continued conversations and routines.
    What's worse is that since custom commands were turned into routines, I can't even do a simple custom command anymore.
  • Having routines not working is better than not having them at all!!?!
  • They are working for my official Google products but not my TicHome Mini or Insignia just like you. It's very frustrating.
  • This weekend Continued Conversations also stopped working on my Google-branded devices, too. (Continued Conversations and Routines never worked on my non-Google devices, but I've only had them a couple of weeks.)
  • Continuued conversation is also broken, at least on my JBL and Sony speakers.
  • I have a feeling that routines being down was possibly due to them being rolled out to other countries, certainly here in the UK anyway.
  • Routines seem to be back up and running on my Insignia speakers, but they take a long time to execute.
  • My Insignia speaker is at least running a scheduled routine when I use the manual trigger phrase. I'll wait until it comes around again in the morning to see if it runs on the schedule. It didn't this morning, so the fix must've happened today. BTW, scheduled routines are a great way to set radio stations from TuneIn as alarms. You can set up a regular radio alarm from iHeart, but TuneIn won't work that way. However, if you use a scheduled routine, you can enter a phrase that will trigger it to play. Not sure why a regular radio alarm won't work, but this is a great workaround.
  • The routines started working again on my Insignia. Things that Brooke and still don't work: 1) Continued conversation
    2) Temperature no longer displays getting weather information.
  • I cannot see Next button when I long press home button on my android phone? Is there anything I have to do to get this? Thanks.