Update 4/15/22 5:45 PM ET: Snapshot is finally no more
What you need to know:
- Google has started letting users know that Assistant Snapshot is being retired.
- The feature was introduced in 2018 as a way to bring users contextual updates.
- Google is now directing users to ask the Assistant for information and updates.
When it comes to Google apps and services, almost nothing is guaranteed to last, and the latest example has to do with Google Assistant. It turns out that Google's handy Snapshot feature is headed out the door, according to a notice that started appearing on Thursday.
If you recall, Snapshot was introduced in 2018 as a section of Google Assistant that held various cards with visual and contextual information for users to access, such as reminders, weather, travel, and more. It was something of a replacement for Google Now, although one that ultimately got buried (almost literally) behind Google's other efforts to improve Assistant as well as the Discover feed (just like Google Now). In fact, users on Reddit (via 9to5Google) complain that Snapshot was too hidden away to be of any actual use.
If you happen to access Snapshot on any of the best Android phones, the notice should appear at the very top, warning that "Snapshot is going away soon." If you click the link, it sends you to a support page that declares the same thing, with detailed examples of how you can still access the same type of information when Snapshot does eventually get killed.
Interestingly, Google recommends that users simply ask Google Assistant for reminders, birthdays, travel information, updates on stocks, and more, which seems a lot less convenient than having it all visually laid out in one place.
Still, given what little attention was paid to Snapshot, this should probably not come as too much of a surprise. Lately, it seems Google is focused on bringing much of this contextual information to the At a Glance widget on Pixel smartphones and pushing out small updates to Discover every now and then.
For now, Google hasn't indicated when exactly it's retiring Snapshot, but it will soon be joined by Hangouts, which is also on its way out.
Over a month after the notice appeared, Snapshot has started disappearing for many Android users. 9to5Google notes that they haven't been able to access the feature on their devices. The Snapshot button has also disappeared on our devices, although it still appears on some of our Galaxy devices when triggering the Assistant from the home screen gesture.
That said, it seems it's only a matter of time before Snapshot is but a memory.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.