'Hey Google' Bug Is Zapping Android Phone Battery Life

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google Assistant got plenty of attention at the company's Pixel 4 event on Tuesday. But now, it's found itself in hot water with Android phone users.

The folks over at Android Police are reporting a new bug in Android phones and tablets that's causing the screen to remain on after users activate Google Assistant by saying "Hey, Google." No matter what the users try to do to turn off the screen, it doesn't work, causing the phone's battery to drain too quickly.

According to the report, the problem has been known since September, where it popped up in Google support forums. For now, it appears to be particularly troublesome on Pixel phones and Google Home devices, but exactly why is unknown. Indeed, Google hasn't commented on the problem and there's no telling when a fix may be released.

Even more strangely, the problem doesn't appear to happen all the time. According to Android Police, there are times when Google Assistant works just fine and others when it malfunctions. 

For now, then, users should limit their use of Google Assistant until a fix is announced. And although it only appears to affect Google devices at the moment, one OnePlus 6T user reported the same problem, so even if you're using other devices, keep an eye on your Assistant use.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.