What you need to know
- Google Assistant is ditching the ability to set reminders based on a specific location.
- This could be tied to the future rollout of a new Assistant feature called "Memory," which saves your content in a convenient location.
- The digital assistant will also no longer allow you to assign reminders to specific people soon.
Google has some bad news for people who frequently rely on Google Assistant to set reminders for them. The voice assistant is getting rid of location-based reminders and the ability to assign reminders to a specific person.
Google announced the news quietly in an easy-to-miss note on the Google Assistant Help page. The search giant said that the ability "to create reminders for a certain location is going away soon."
The company did not explain why this handy feature is getting the ax. Google did not immediately respond to Android Central's request for comment.
Location-based reminders debuted in 2018 as a way to avoid forgetting what you want to do when you're in a specific place. For example, on some of the best smart displays, such as the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), you can ask Assistant to remind you to buy a bottle of fresh milk at the grocery store. Once you reach the nearest shop, the voice assistant will send you an alert to your phone.
Although this useful feature is being phased out, you can still ask Assistant to create reminders at a certain time. This is one of Assistant's most useful features for receiving reminders. You can also set routines when you arrive at a specific place, though this may be a remote alternative to location-based reminders.
The feature's impending removal will likely disappoint users who depend on Assistant to remind them of things they've been meaning to do when they reach a certain location. On the other hand, location-based reminders didn't seem to work well all of the time for some users, as evidenced by comments in this Reddit thread about the feature's removal. Some people were even unaware it existed until Google announced it would be discontinued.
Another feature that will bite the dust soon is the ability to assign reminders to family members or anyone who signs in to the same Assistant-enabled device as you. That said, you'll retain the option to assign tasks in Google Chat or Gmail.
It remains unclear when these features will officially cease to function for everyone. 9to5Google speculates that the move is in preparation for the future rollout of a new Assistant feature called "Memory," which was spotted early last year and will allow you to save on-screen content, reminders, and other things in a convenient location.
Google has yet to announce when Memory will be released, but it makes sense for some of Assistant's reminder features to go away in order to make way for the new capability.
The Nest Hub (2nd Gen) from Google can track your sleep without requiring you to wear an inconvenient wristband on your arm all night.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.