Updates usually add new features to apps, but an upcoming Google Assistant update will remove several.
These are seventeen features that are about to be removed from the service, and one in particular will have a significant impact on Google Pixel users.
In a post regarding these changes, Google explains that 17 little-used Assistant features will be eliminated soon
Starting January 26, when you use one of these features, you will receive a notification alerting you to its imminent removal.
One month later, these functions will disappear permanently.
Most actions involve controlling apps via voice commands and performing tasks on your smartwatch, smart speaker or smart display using your voice assistant.
Google admitted that these changes may cause discomfort for some users and proposed alternatives for performing the actions. Most of them are direct equivalents, but without the voice interaction.
These are the features that will be eliminated:
- Set an alarm that uses media, music or radio.
- Play and control audiobooks on Google Play Books with your voice assistant.
- Manage a stopwatch on smart displays and speakers.
- Send an email, video or audio message with your voice.
- Reschedule an event in Google Calendar with your voice.
- Use App Launcher in Google Assistant driving mode on Google Maps to read and send messages, make calls and control media.
- View sleep summaries.
- View time estimates for “Commute to Work” on smart displays.
- View caller ID on calls made from speakers and smart displays (unless you’re using Duo).
- Control personal travel itineraries via voice.
- Request information about your contacts.
- Request you to perform certain actions via voice, such as sending a payment, making a reservation, or posting on social media.
- Access or manage cookbooks, transfer recipes from one device to another, play an instructional recipe video, or view step-by-step recipes.
- Call a device or broadcast a message to your Google Family Group by voice.
- Request to schedule or listen to previously scheduled Family Bell announcements.
- Ask to meditate with Calm.
- Control activities on Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 devices by voice.
Changes to the Google app itself are also coming that will particularly impact Pixel users.
Currently, users can tap the microphone in the search bar to activate Google Assistant and set a timer, send a message, or manage smart home tasks.
For Pixel phones, this includes the search bar on the home screen.
But soon, this will only lead to search results.
Google said users will still be able to activate Assistant by saying “Hey Google” or by holding down the home or power button