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Google Assistant to Lose Many Features

(Image Credit Google)
Google Assistant is getting a makeover, but not everyone's invited. Nearly 20 features, deemed "underused," are being axed, from sending voice emails to controlling audiobooks. This has some users cheering for a leaner, meaner Assistant, while others lament the loss of their favorite shortcuts.

Say bye-bye to:

  • Audiobook voice control: No more hands-free audiobook bliss, but casting from your phone remains.
  • Fancy alarms: Media, music, and radio alarms are out, but custom routines and classic beeps are in.
  • Cookbook conundrum: No more voice-activated recipe magic, but the Assistant can still point you to culinary wisdom online.
  • Stopwatch silence: Smart displays and speakers say goodbye to stopwatch duties, but timers and alarms are still your friendly reminders.
  • Voice messaging and email? Not anymore: Stick to calls and texts for direct communication.
  • Calendar juggling: Rescheduling events by voice is getting the ax, but creating new ones is still smooth sailing.
  • Driving distractions: App Launcher in Assistant's driving mode is hitting the brakes, but voice control on Maps is still your copilot.
  • Family Bell farewell: No more scheduling or listening to family announcements by voice, but custom routines can fill the void.
  • Calm your own way: Voice-activated meditation with Calm is out, but the Assistant can still guide you to Zen via other providers.
  • Fitbit voice fitness fizzle: Say goodbye to voice control for activities on Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, buttons are back in charge.
  • Sleep summary snooze: Only Google Smart Displays will show sleep summaries now, but third-party clocks can still answer your sleepy queries.
  • Caller ID blackout: No more names on incoming calls from speakers and Smart Displays (unless you're using Duo).
  • Commute estimates kaput: No more ambient "Commute to Work" times on Smart Displays, but asking for commute info and directions is still a go.
  • Travel itinerary whispers: No more voice-activated travel plans, but flight status inquiries are still welcome.
  • Contact info hush-hush: Asking for contact details by voice is getting the silent treatment, but calling them directly is still an option.
  • Social media silence: No more voice-powered posting or payments, but opening your installed apps is still a breeze.
Also Read: Are Transparent TVs the Next Big Thing? But wait, there's more! Changes are coming to microphone and mobile app functionality on Android, including Pixel devices. That search bar microphone? It's losing some superpowers, like controlling lights or launching Assistant. But fear not, it'll still handle your regular Google Voice Search needs. Why the purge? Google's streamlining to focus on the features you use and love the most. Plus, recent layoffs within the Assistant team might play a role. But hey, they promise to invest in the underlying tech to make Assistant even better in the future! So, there you have it, folks. A leaner, meaner Google Assistant is on the horizon. Embrace the change, explore workarounds, and remember, the future of AI assistance is still bright (even if a few features are getting the dimmer switch). Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Google Assistant saga!

By Omal J

I worked for both print and electronic media as a feature journalist. Writing, traveling, and DIY sum up her life.


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