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The Google Assistant Is Getting A Permanent Death, And You Probably Weren’t Using It Anyway

Google has begun informing users that Assistant Snapshot is being retired. In 2018, the feature was introduced as a way to give users context-based updates. Google is now encouraging users to request information and updates from the Assistant.

Almost nothing about Google apps and services is guaranteed to last, and Google Assistant is the latest example. Apparently, Snapshot, Google’s handy feature, is on its way out, according to a notice posted on Thursday.

If you recall, Snapshot was introduced in 2018 as a section of Google Assistant that held various cards with visual and contextual information for users to access, such as reminders, weather, travel, and more. It was something of a replacement for Google Now, although one that ultimately got buried (almost literally) behind Google’s other efforts to improve Assistant as well as the Discover feed (just like Google Now). In fact, users on Reddit (via 9to5Google) complain that Snapshot was too hidden away to be of any actual use.

If you happen to access Snapshot on any of the best Android phones, the notice should appear at the very top, warning that “Snapshot is going away soon.” If you click the link, it sends you to a support page that declares the same thing, with detailed examples of how you can still access the same type of information when Snapshot does eventually get killed.

This is the notice that appears when accessing Snapshot. (Image credit: Android Central)

Interestingly, Google recommends that users simply ask Google Assistant for reminders, birthdays, travel information, updates on stocks, and more, which seems a lot less convenient than having it all visually laid out in one place.

Still, given what little attention was paid to Snapshot, this should probably not come as too much of a surprise. Lately, it seems Google is focused on bringing much of this contextual information to the At a Glance widget on Pixel smartphones and pushing out small updates to Discover every now and then.

For now, Google hasn’t indicated when exactly it’s retiring Snapshot, but it will soon be joined by Hangouts, which is also on its way out.

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