Google has just announced a series of changes to how Speaker Groups and its Assistant devices work. The changes follow the recent US ITC ruling, which found that Google infringed on five Sonos patents related to smart speakers and audio (via 9to5Google).
According to Google, the Device Utility App (DUA) only has to be used once during the initial setup of devices that don’t have the latest firmware installed. “You may receive a prompt to download and run DUA, and it will ensure that your device is connected to Wi-Fi and receives the most updated software version,” says Google.
Users now also “need to adjust each speaker individually” instead of using the group volume controller that changed everything at once. Moreover, users can no longer change the volume of a Speaker Group using their phone’s volume buttons.
Third-party devices have to be updated to Cast firmware 1.52.272222. Besides the volume change, Google says Speaker Group functionality remains the same.
Most Speaker Groups should continue functioning as expected unless you have a speaker group containing other brands of Cast-based devices, like JBL or Lenovo, they need to be on 1.52.272222 or higher Cast firmware version.
You can visit this article on how to find your device’s firmware version.