Google is getting rid of a function that seems to have been forgotten.
Google is about to hit the forgetful with an emotional gut blow by removing location-based reminders.
The business didn’t make a public announcement about the change, but some observant customers saw it on the Google Assistant Help page (opens in new tab). For those who don’t know or remember, you could set reminders for yourself based on where you were. You could, for example, set a reminder to buy a gallon of milk at the supermarket, and Google Assistant on your phone(opens in new tab) will notify you if you drive past one.
We have no idea why Google is doing this, and we have no idea when the feature will be deleted. We contacted Google to see if they could clarify why the Google Assistant feature was being withdrawn and when customers should expect it to be removed. Unfortunately, we never received a response from Google. The only thing Google says on its help page about this is that you may still set reminders for certain locations depending on time or establish a routine for them.
9to5 This could be related to a proposed new “Memory” feature for Assistant, which would allow the service to save files, places, movies, and more, according to Google. They allege that this is part of a “spring cleaning,” and that Google is removing old and undesired features to make room for new ones. According to users on the Android subreddit (opens in new tab), Google is sending out notifications to users informing them of the imminent change.
When it comes to users, their reactions have been a combination of dissatisfaction and perplexity. According to that Reddit thread, some users are disappointed that location-based notifications are being phased out, while others have totally forgotten about them.
Only a few people are relieved that location-based reminders are being phased out, claiming that the feature simply did not work.
Out with the old, in with the new.
The claim that Google is performing some “spring cleaning” may be true. Google revealed during I/O 2022 that it was updating Google Assistant’s AI so that it could interpret more casual dialogue. Perhaps it’s getting rid of some old – and possibly unused – technology to create room for something new.
In mid-April, Google Snapshot, for example, was deleted from its services. It was a feature that gave you a quick preview of how your day would go, but it’s now gone with no apparent follow-up. If the Memory feature is implemented, it’s likely that the underutilised location-based reminders will be phased out in favour of something better.