If you’ve ever heard the phrase “addition by subtraction,” you’ll understand Google’s latest move. This week, Google announced that it plans to eliminate more than a dozen features from Google Assistant in the coming weeks. Google Assistant VP Duke Dukellis explained in a blog post that the team is “prioritizing the experiences you love and investing in the underlying technology to make them even better” while axing support for “underutilized features.”
Google explains that starting on January 26, if you attempt to use any of these features, you will receive a notification letting you know that it won’t be available after a certain date.
9to5Google reports that most of the features will no longer be available as of February 26, but there are a few exceptions. For instance, Nest Hub Commute Tiles and the App Launcher are being deprecated on February 7.
In addition to removing 17 features from Google Assistant, Google is also changing how the microphone icon works in the Google app. From now on, that icon will only trigger Search results in response to your queries. You can no longer use it to complete actions.
Here’s the complete list of Google Assistant features that will soon be deprecated:
- 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 behavior or use a standard alarm.
- Accessing or managing your cookbook, transferring 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’ll 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.
If you use any of these features, it’s time to find an alternative. This change is likely a byproduct of Google’s Bard AI taking priority over Google Assistant.