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Google is removing 17 underutilised Google Assistant features: Check list

Google has announced that it is removing some of Google Assistant's underutilised features. Check detailed list here.

Edited By: Shweta Ganjoo

Published: Jan 12, 2024, 07:03 PM IST

Google Assistant
Google Assistant

Story Highlights

  • Google is making changes to Google Assistant.
  • Google is removing 17 Google Assistant features.
  • These changes will come into effect on January 26.

Google Assistant has been a constant companion of millions of Android phone, Chromebook and Nest users overs the years. Since its launch almost seven years back, the company has improved its features with almost every update and advancement to its machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. All of this has made Google Assistant a fan favourite compared to its peers. Now, Google has announced that it is downgrading Google Assistant by removing some of its underutilised features.

“…as we continue to make Google Assistant more helpful, we’re prioritizing the experiences you love and investing in the underlying technology to make them even better — which means that some underutilized features will no longer be supported,” Google wrote in a blog post.

The company also said that these changes will come into effect on January 26, 2024.

Here is a list of all the Google Assistant features that will go away on January 26:

Google Assistant features that Google is removing

— Playing and controlling audiobooks on Google Play Books with your voice. You can still cast audiobooks from your mobile device.

— Setting or using media alarms, music alarms, or radio alarms on Google Assistant enabled devices. You can create a custom Routine that has similar behaviour or use a standard alarm.

— Accessing or managing your cookbook, transfering recipes from device to device, playing an instructional recipe video, or showing step-by-step recipes. You can use Google Assistant to search for recipes across the web and YouTube.

— Managing a stopwatch on Smart Displays and Speakers. You can still set timers and alarms.

— Using your voice to call a device or broadcast a message to your Google Family Group. You can still broadcast to devices in your home.

— Using your voice to send an email, video or audio message. You can still make calls and send text messages.

— Rescheduling an event in Google Calendar with your voice. You can still schedule a new event.

— Using App Launcher in Google Assistant driving mode on Google Maps to read and send messages, make calls, and control media. You can still use voice control on Google Maps the same way.

— Asking to schedule or hear previously scheduled Family Bell announcements. You can create a custom Routine that has similar behavior.

— Asking to meditate with Calm. You can still ask for meditation options with media providers such as YouTube.

— Voice control for activities will no longer be available on Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 devices. You will need to use the buttons on your device to start, stop, pause, and resume activities. You can still voice control activities on Pixel Watches.

— Viewing your sleep summaries will only be available on Google Smart Displays. You can still ask for sleep details by voice on third-party smart clocks.

— Calls made from speakers and Smart Displays will not show up with a caller ID unless you’re using Duo.

— Viewing the ambient “Commute to Work” time estimates on Smart Displays. You can still ask for commute times and get directions by voice.

— Checking personal travel itineraries by voice. You can still ask for flight status.

— Asking for information about your contacts. You can still make calls to your contacts.

— Asking to take certain actions by voice, such as send a payment, make a reservation, or post to social media. You can still ask Assistant to open your installed apps.

New Google Assistant experience

Apart from this, Google is also making some changes to the overall Google app experience. The company said that the microphone icon will now trigger Search results in response to users’ queries, which is its most popular use case. But now, users will no longer be able to use the microphone icon in the Search bar to complete actions like “turn on the lights” or “send a message.” This includes the microphone in the Pixel Search bar, which will now activate Voice Search instead of Assistant. “And to ensure you have access to the best, most up-to-date version of Google Assistant, you’ll be prompted to upgrade the Google app if you’re using an older version (v12 and older),” the company added.

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Author Name | Shweta Ganjoo

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