Google secretly changes key feature and everyone has the same complaint

GOOGLE fans have gone into meltdown after the search giant changed a popular feature loaded into its speakers and smartphones.

Users say the company has changed the white noise sound available through Google Assistant, Google's artificial intelligence-powered virtual helper.

Assistant, which works similarly to Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, offers many ambient sounds that users can conjure with a voice command.

The one for white noise – which sounds like a radio tuned to an unused frequency – helps block out sounds to make it easier to sleep or study.

Google seemingly changed its white noise sound last week as part of a software update rolled out to Assistant, which features in the firm's smart speakers and Android phones.

The new shorter and quieter clip has caused an unexpected change in many users' bedtime routines – and people aren't happy.

They took to Twitter, Reddit and the Google Nest Community forums to complain, telling tales of bedtime tantrums thrown by their unsettled kids.

One person tweeted: "Hey @Google — why did you change your white noise sound between nap and bedtime today? You gave us quite the meltdown to deal with from our toddler who’s had the same noise since birth.

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They signed off their post: "Sincerely, a tired mom".

Another parent tweeted: "Hey @Google. Whoever decided to change the .wav file you use for White Noise on Google Home devices just caused a fifteen-hour tantrum".

They added: "Like it's been the same .wav file for six years why was this necessary".

And a third wrote: "Google changed the default white noise sound on the Nest speakers, so guess I’m never going to sleep again".

Google has not provided a reason for changing the white noise clip, which now lasts ten minutes before looping.

On Google Nest forums, some described the new sound as quieter or more muffled.

It’s unclear if the company plans to adjust the sound in some way to address complaints.

The Sun has reached out to Google for comment.

The tech titan launched Assistant in 2016 as a voice-activated helper for users of its phones and smart home products.

Like rivals Siri and Alexa, it's capable of finding information on the internet, controlling your music and activating smart devices in the home.

As well as white noise, the digital companion is equipped with other ambient sounds including rain, a crackling fireplace, and ocean waves.

In other news, personalised smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers this year.

Scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of grisly child mummies buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.

Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman who'd be on the run for 20 years after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.

And, one of the best-preserved fossils ever found has confirmed that young dinosaurs burst from their shells just like baby birds.

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