Google announced today that it would start rolling out a fix tomorrow for an issue Android users have encountered with devices like the Home smart speaker clogging up a network.
It’s supposed to fix a software bug that occasionally causes a Cast streaming media connection to fill a home wireless network with unneeded packets, slowing down the user’s network. The first part of the fix is a patch to the Google Play Services that run on Android phones. It’s unclear if an update for Home devices and other Cast-enabled hardware will be necessary.
While this is ultimately a blip on the radar, it shows the difficult future we’re headed for in the realm of home automation. Not only do people have to worry about the software on their smartphones, computers, and other mobile devices causing issues, but it’s fairly easy to see a possible future when a smart lightbulb update could cause a cascade of issues inside a house.
The news comes as router makers are also working to address the issue. TP-Link recently put out beta firmware for its Archer C1200 router to try and fix the problem, but Google’s fix is more likely to help a broader number of people, especially since TP-Link’s patch only affects one model out of its entire product portfolio.
For right now, the most consistent fix seems to be unplugging the offending Cast devices. Google suggests users reboot their phones and ensure that their Wi-Fi routers are running up-to-date firmware.