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Smart 6 Ultra - Voice Search randomly activating

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3: Seeker

Bought this phone last week to use as a head unit for a motorcycle hifi - mainly playing internet radio and MP3's etc.

 

I'm a motorcycle courier so i just want to set a station or playlist and leave the phone alone doing its thing without any sudden distractions....

 

 

Unfortunately Google's Voice Search keeps activating randomly.  The phone's amplified through a hifi and the Voice Search volume is independent of the music stream volume, hence i'll be filtering through a tight spot of traffic when suddenly there's a loud pinging sound followed by a computer voice asking me to talk back to it!  (edited in accordance with House Rules)

 

To get rid of it and restore the music i have to find somewhere to pull over and start fiddling with the thing.  Invariably if it trips once it'll trip again shortly after, perhaps several times over the course of a few minutes.

 

This is really, REALLY annoying.  Apparently it's a common Android bug, but the easiest workarounds other people are using (ie. without rooting or physically modifying the headphone socket) involve disabling Google Now, and / or the Google Search bar from the home screen - neither of which are possible on the Smart 6 Ultra.  Likewise there's no option to uninstall Google Now or Search.

 

I have absolutely no want nor use of Voice Search or Google Now - all i want is uninterrupted music.  That's all i bought the phone for.

 

Is there any chance of a patch to fix this bug, or else enable a workaround?  I've tried all the obvious things already - disabling the "OK Google" activation option, stopping the Google App service.. i even tried uninstalling it, which also forced me to remove the update to it which i now can't find any way to re-apply, however this just locked me out of the homescreen, causing it to crash each time it re-launched.

 

All i want is a stable, uninterrupted music stream.  A media player with internet radio as a bonus.  I do not want Voice Search.  I will never use it.  But i always use media players.  The phone's currently not fulfilling its purpose adequately for me...

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2: Seeker

Hi MrVibrating

 

Getting rid of the Search Bar was the very first thing I did on my Smart Ultra 6 last week.

 

Install an app called Nova Launcher. It enables you to customise the homescreen. Make it the default launcher and it takes over all sorts of useful functions. In the Nova Settings go to Desktop, then Persistent Search Bar. Select 'none'. Voila!!

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14 REPLIES 14
17: Community Champion

Hi

 

Welcome to the eForum. 

 

Please may I first say as a past motorcyclist to be careful of listening to music etc whilst riding especially as you state you "filter" through traffic. 

 

If enough people suggest a modification to a firmware and the supplier of the firmware deems this to be viable and a feature that the masses would want then they could implement it. You probably would need to contact Google. 

 

When android firmware is released then the Networks typically hold on to it and test it out to ensure it does not clash with the network and the branded handsets its pushed to. They do not typically include features in to the android firmware.  

Current Phone > Samsung Note 9 _512Gb > Model: SM-N960 Hybrid-Duos.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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17: Community Champion

Does the Google search bar appear on all homescreens, or just the first one?   If it's the latter, could you display another one while you're riding?

 

I'm a bit doubtful whether this will solve the problem as I'd expect the display to go off (and GS therefore to be effectively inactivated) while you're not using it, though it's worth a try.  The other possibility is that, if you're using a Bluetooth device to listen to music, it's picking up external sounds and activating voice search that way.   In that case, a passive device - that plays only and doesn't have a microphone - might be the answer. (?)

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3: Seeker

I modified a 3.5mm stereo patch cable by soldering a 4 pole jack onto one end, leaving the mic terminal unconnected, as shown u=in this diagram:

 

http://sun-pec.com/Pics/SunPec/Resistor/wiring_information.jpg

 

I also installed an app that cancels all headset remote control commands - it seems that the Voice Search function is triggered by resistance fluctuations in the audio cable (headset control buttons work by breifly shorting the Left, Right and / or Ground wires).

 

This seems to have fixed the problem for now - didn't trip once today.  I'll update this thread if anything changes.  Thanks for the replies..  (and in answer to your question CC Hrym yes the Search bar persists across all homescreens).

 

 

 

@bandofbrothers1 - appreciate your concerns but the hifi system plays through speakers not headphones - 2 tri-axial speakers sealed in Bates headlamps to the handlebars, and two 8" DVC subwoofers mounted in the topbox, via a 300W class AB amplifier.  I've been doing this job since '93 and find that a hifi, even if on quietly, makes me safer rather than more at risk, and have been using one for most of the last ten years.  What DOES endager me is a sudden, unexpected, very loud and distracting pinging sound and a computer voice asking me to talk back to it.

 

And for clarity, this is a BUG PATCH REQUEST not a "feature request".  The unit is doing something it's NOT supposed to do.  From what i can gather the bug HAS been patched in the latest version of Lollipop, so i'll just have to wait for Vodafone to release it i guess..

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2: Seeker

Hi MrVibrating

 

Getting rid of the Search Bar was the very first thing I did on my Smart Ultra 6 last week.

 

Install an app called Nova Launcher. It enables you to customise the homescreen. Make it the default launcher and it takes over all sorts of useful functions. In the Nova Settings go to Desktop, then Persistent Search Bar. Select 'none'. Voila!!

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3: Seeker

Cheers Napolitan - i did see this mentioned as a solution for others experiencing this problem (there's many), and installed Nova, but was put off by the amount of options i was confronted with so uninstalled it again.  I may have another look at this or another launcher as a workaround if the problem persists.

 

Thanks again..

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3: Seeker

Okay, today i tried using Nova to remove the Google Search bar from the homescreen...

 

...it had absolutely no effect whatsoever.

 

 

So i've tried everything  - uninstalling Google App, which simply disables the whole device, there's no option to disable or uninstall Google Now or Voice Search, using a 4-pole patch cable with the mic terminal disconnected has no effect (seems it just listens through the built-in mic instead)...

 

I've also been through all the options screens for both the phone and Google Settings.  No useful options anywhere, and nothing i've tried has any effect on the problem.  I'm at my wit's end, it's driving me nuts and seriously distracting me while driving.

 

Worse, Google Now is pulling more power from the battery than any of the apps i actually need to run, and which i bought the phone for.

 

On top of this it's also using more data bandwidth than any other app.

 

Unbelievable that such a shoddy bug could get through quality control systems.  The phone's basically unusable as a media player, which is the main reason i brought it.

 

 

Is there ANY way to disable Google Now and / or Voice Search without having to root the thing?  How does one go about requesting a bug patch from Vodafone?  Will fixing it myself invalidate the warranty or prevent me receiving future updates?

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Moderator (Retired)

@MrVibrating

 

We don't have any further information on patches or updates at the moment.

 

Please be aware that altering the phone yourself will invalidate the warranty.

 

We can take a look at the phone if you wish to follow our repair process, however a future update may resolve the issue.

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4: Newbie

You can turn off google voice search from any home screen. 

 

Download the Google launcher and set that as default, then swipe right into the google now page. 

 

at the top press the hamburger menu, settings, voice, and turn of OK google , also check in Hands free and turn off any options that might be on. 

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3: Seeker

Thanks but like many others suffering this problem, i've already tried this without success - none of the available settings have any effect on the bug.

 

Bottom line is that listening to any kind of music, from MP3 to internet radio, causes Voice Search to randomly open and turn the music volume down to almost zero; it then makes a pinging sound and says "Sorry, i didn't catch that" etc. etc., and i then have to find somewhere to pull over in order to close Voice Search, re-start the media player, re-locate the playlist position and reset the volume, which can take anything from 5 to 10 minutes and often requires turning the phone off and on again.

 

I'm an old 8-bit kiddie, quite tech savvy and this is defo one stinker of a bug.

 

But the bigger insult is foisting it on users with no means to disable or uninstall it - i thought i was buying the last word in media players, and just wanted MP3 and internet radio, with a little web browsing, nothing more.  No calls, no texts, just a decent media player.  Wouldn't install or use Voice Search or Google Now if you paid me.  Don't want it, don't need it, yet it's completely ruined my purchase.  I don't care how buggy it is provided it's not forced upon me!  Software should be a CHOICE.  Voluntary, not mandatory.  Microsoft had to learn this the hard way, and now they have to offer a choice of search providers.  Perhaps the relevant ombudsmen should be asking why Google aren't being held to the same standards..

 

But i'm ranting.  Sorry.  Thanks for the suggestion anyhoos...

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3: Seeker

Found a workaround.

 

It requires disabling Google Voice Search, and also removing the persistent  Search Bar from the Homescreen, otherwise the Homescreen (actually, the Google Launcher) will crash on startup once Voice Search is disabled.

 

To remove the Search bar from the Homescreen, install Nova Launcher which has a specific option for this.

 

Next, disable Voice Search - which has been confusingly renamed by Google to "Google App".  In the App Settings Options, when disabling Google App you'll first be prompted to remove its update - to which you have to select Yes, in order to disable it.  If you should choose to re-enable it later, the update will be re-installed automatically some time afterwards.

 

If you accidently disable Google App before installing Nova and removing the Search bar, causing the Homescreen to crash, don't panic - the settings options can still be reached from the drop-down bar at the top of the screen.  Re-enable it from there, then install Nova, kill the Search bar, then kill Voice Search.

 

Sorted.  No more rude interruptions.

 

There is still another problem with Lollipop 5.0.2 - a memory leak periodically kills background apps (such as music players, especially it seems when streaming audio / internet radio), however i'll start another thread on this...

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Community Champion (Retired)

@MrVibrating

Thank you for posting this, which has (I hope) solved a problem for me.

 

I have the Smart 4 Mini, with Jelly Bean 4.2.2, and have had a problem recently with Voice Search activating randomly, and basically refusing to go away without restarting the phone. I had concluded that it was a screen problem (I bought the phone as a semi-disposable for situations in which it was at risk of crushing), but this thread set me thinking about other possible causes/solutions.

 

As a result I have uninstalled all the updates to the Google App, have spent a while doing the things that were likely to trigger Voice Search and, touch wood, it hasn't done it despite a fair old workout. So I'm hoping for the best, as the Smart 4 Mini has proved a very good little phone until this problem hit it.

 

Annie.

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17: Community Champion

I don't know whether this applies to all makes, but I suspect it's an Android thing and probably does.  On two HTC phones, both running Lollipop, I've discovered a toggle in the Google app settings for "Voice search from any screen".  If this is on, you can say "OK Google" even if the app/Google now isn't open or the search box on screen.  I'm just wondering whether that's the issue??

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3: Seeker

@hyrm

 

I tried disabling all the Google settings (including the "OK Google" activation), however in my case this had no effect on the problem - Voice Search was definitely being triggered by media audio (music and talk radio), when played at loud volume through amplified speakers.

 

However there were occassions where it seemed to coincide with loud ambient noises, such as the siren of a passing emergency vehicle, so i suspect the problem might not be exclusive to media audio..

 

Regardless, disabling the Google App has completely fixed the problem.  Just wish i could uninstall it..

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17: Community Champion

Strange.   I haven't tried speaking to voice search without saying "OK Google", which is what I thought triggered it.  I can only conclude that it's been interpreting the noise as that phrase.

 

I know you're probably not bothered, but the other thing migth have been to use it and train it to your voice.   That might have persuaded it to ignore other sounds.

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