Google App Update Disables Features For Millions
Users from outside of the United States and Europe have reported their features outright disabled with the latest update to the Google App (formerly known as Google Search). The countries that seem to suffer from this functionality black out seem to be those in Latin America and other spanish-speaking countries.
A PSA was posted on the Android Wear subreddit claiming that all of the consumer-based Google Now cards have been disabled. The user resides in the Cayman Islands, located just south of Cuba. The user reported that he was no longer getting consumer-based cards (such as sports updates or news stories), and some features like reminders were no longer functioning.
This led us to investigate and look for more user reports, and it wasn’t very hard to find them. A quick look at the current South American Playstore reviews for the latest Google App version shows, from the very first page to the end, pages filled to the brim with complaints about their country losing Google Now functionality.
“It was good in its time (…) It’s sad that you’ve removed support for Cards in Colombia (…)” says Fabian Ardilla
“(…) The features is underdeveloped in Spain and as of now offers very limited information (…)”
“They removed Google Now. It sucks that you’ve removed Google Now from Chile (…)”
“If you are going to force people on an update, at least make sure it is compatible with every country (…)”
“(…) you removed Cards from my country (…)”
Every post in that first page is complaining about the lack of functionality in their country. And every comment that follows after that is no better.
This new version seems to have broken the things that made Google Now so useful for everyone regardless of their area of residence. Google Now has always faced limitations in certain countries over others, as the policies and politics of each region definitely have to be accounted for when introducing certain features. However, this new blackout leaves millions of potential users out of core aspects of the service and we sincerely hope Google addresses this issue, or at least makes a statement as for why this change took place.
EDIT: XDA user