Google Assistant to lose helpful feature that set reminders based on your location

Whenever we mention Google Assistant, we tell you that it is arguably the best of the digital helpers. Perhaps we do not have to include the word “arguably” considering that the vast majority of tests show that the Assistant outperforms Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. But it seems that a change is coming to Google Assistant that might eliminate one feature that is often used.

According to multiple posts found on Reddit (via 9to5Google), the Google Reminders feature is about to go away. Google Reminders is used when you ask Google Assistant to remind you to take certain action on a certain date, time, and location. For example, you could ask Assistant to remind you to buy a 24 case of Cola next time you’re in Walmart. However, a screenshot shows that when Google Reminders is opened in the Google app (go to profile picture > reminders), a box appears with the words “Soon you’ll no longer be able to set reminders at locations. Learn more about alternatives.”
The box links to a Google Support Page which seems to suggest using Assistant Routines once Google Reminders is removed. The support page says, “Important: The option to create reminders for a certain location is going away soon. You can still create reminders at a certain time and set routines for a location.” The same post notes that assigning reminders to people will also disappear soon and notes that “you can still assign reminders in Google Chat or Gmail.”

Judging from the responses on Reddit, users have mixed reactions about Google removing this feature. Some say that Reminders never worked for them, so they really don’t care about Google’s apparent plan to remove it. Here is one typical response on Reddit from StockAL3Xj: “I’d say it’s a totally useful feature that never worked. I tried to use it a few times to remind myself to do stuff when I got home or to work but it never reliably sent me a reminder. I think I’d use it pretty regularly if it worked consistently.”

We still don’t know when Google plans to remove Reminders from Google Assistant but if you use and depend on the feature, start considering Google Keep. After installing the Keep app, tap the hamburger (or three-line) menu in the upper left corner. Tap on Reminders. To create one, tap on the “+” icon found on the bottom right of the screen. You can set reminders to appear at a certain time and place.

It does seem strange that Google would be removing a feature that many use in this manner. And we suppose that the tech giant isn’t leaving users totally high and dry since Android Routines and the Google Keep app can be employed. And that brings us to this discussion about the latter app. It is a great app for creating shopping lists and you can still use Assistant to help you set such a reminder.

Ask Google Assistant to create a reminder on Keep and you’ll be prompted to answer some questions pertaining to the task you want to be reminded about. So there are ways around this move foreshadowed by Google.

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We would be remiss if we didn’t point out that the box noting the impending departure of Google Reminders on Assistant has not showed up on this writer’s Pixel 6 Pro running Android 12. On the other hand, Google’s intentions are mentioned on the Support Page and the warning has surfaced on handsets belonging to Reddit users so we have no reason not to believe that this is going to happen.

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