If you found yourself logged out of your Gmail account in your mobile device sometime last Feb. 23, that is because Google sustained a massive outage that also caused several Google hardware linked to a Google account to crash or get reset.
Google Accounts Problem
Emerging reports reveal that the problem was caused by Google's Accounts Engine so that devices such as Chromecast, Google Home, and even Gmail accounts on smartphones and tablets got disconnected from Google.
The hardest-hit devices include Google Wifi and OnHub, which have unceremoniously locked their users out until a workaround was announced. Unfortunately, the fix was a hard reset, which meant that the configured settings for these products have to be completely wiped out and entered anew. Naturally, it caused a minor furor among consumers.
Was afraid to buy a Google consumer product. Fears have come true - a Google Wifi update broke my network in the middle of the work day.
— Jeff Holliday (@jhollida24) February 23, 2017
It also did not help that Google took its time solving the issue, which was first reported 5:30 p.m. ET. The hard reset update was only released nearly five hours later. By this time, the problem has already caused not only disruption to device usage but also confusion. According to Tech Hive, some consumers began calling their internet service providers, thinking that it was their problem. You may be asured it led to further complications.
Last Feb. 24, Google released a statement profusely apologizing for the event while at the same time confirming that it was indeed caused by the Google Accounts engine.
"This caused some devices to automatically reset to the initial state you bought them in and they will unfortunately need to be set up again," Ben Brown representing the Google Wifi and OnHub team, explained. "This has not affected the software or performance of the device but it does need to be re-setup."
Because of the hiccup, some sources are now saying that the incident revealed how Google hardware seems to be not yet ready for primetime. According to a Forbes report, for example, Google has surprisingly failed to build a mechanism for the hardware configurations to be uploaded or saved to the cloud automatically.
Again, at this stage, consumers - particularly those who have built elaborate and highly customized configuration settings - are bearing the brunt of the outage. Unless they jotted the details down or remembered every minutia of the configuration, they will now have to enter the data again.
Google could probably say that it is just a minor disconnection or crash, no significant damage has resulted throughout the course of the affair. There is, however, a larger issue here, which is the tendency of any Google glitch to affect a wide swath of hardware, taking them offline at the drop of a hat.