Kids are throwing tantrums over Google Assistant’s new white noise

Google Assistant has switched up its ambient white noise track, replacing the sound with a shorter, quieter clip. It’s caused an unexpected change in many users’ bedtime routines, and people aren’t happy.

Available on Google’s smart speakers and Android phones, Google Assistant is equipped with the ability to play a variety of ambient sounds, including rain, a fireplace, the ocean, and white noise. People typically use such sounds as soothing background noise when writing, sleeping, or otherwise avoiding being alone with their thoughts.

However, last week users discovered that Google Assistant’s white noise clip has been changed. Rather than the familiar hour-long track that many have grown accustomed to, asking Google Assistant to play white noise now surfaces a quieter 10-minute track. And while it does loop, some have found the break noticeable.

While it may seem like a minor problem in the grand scheme of things, the unexpected change has caused significant disruption for some — especially harried parents who used Google Assistant’s white noise to get their children to sleep. Unhappy users have taken to Reddit, Twitter, and the Google Nest Community forums to complain, sharing tales of bedtime meltdowns and requesting the sound they know and love be reinstated. 

The official Made by Google Twitter account has stated that they “don’t have any details to share about why the white noise sound of the Google Home was changed,” but are aware of the complaints and are gathering more information from users. It has also asked users for the “exact command structure” they’re using when requesting white noise, indicating that this may not have been a deliberate change.

Mashable has reached out to Google for comment.

In the meantime, a Reddit user has uploaded a copy of Google Assistant’s original white noise track to Google Drive, helping out stressed parents searching for a soothing substitute sound.