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Google Assistant is implementing strategic changes to optimize its core functionalities and enhance the device user experience. Effective January 26, 2024, these adjustments prioritize quality and reliability while streamlining operations. This announcement comes after rumors circulated that Google is downsizing its team dedicated to voice assistants.
According to Google, Google is focusing resources on features most users utilize, ensuring continuous improvement in these core functionalities. Consequently, some lesser-used features will be discontinued. Here are the most common of them:
- Use 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.
- Asking to meditate with Calm. You can still ask for meditation options with media providers such as YouTube.
- 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 sending a payment, making a reservation, or posting to social media. You can still ask the Assistant to open your installed apps. Here is the complete list.
Moreover, Google is planning to provide more consistent experience in the Google app, like:
- The microphone icon now triggers Search results: its most popular use case.
- Use “Hey Google” or a long-press home/power button to control smart home devices or send messages. The microphone icon is no longer usable for such actions.
- Pixel Search bar: activates Voice Search instead of Assistant.
To ensure optimal performance and access to the latest Assistant features, users with older versions of the Google app (v12 and below) will be prompted to upgrade.
What’s your take on this change?