Beyond a dark theme in September, Assistant reminders are rarely updated and Google is now getting rid of the ability to “set reminders at locations.”

A common thing people do with voice assistants is set reminders. The system built-in to Assistant is officially called “Google Reminders” and found at assistant.google.com/reminders. Besides adding a date and time, you’ve long been able to specify a location for reminders, like “Remind me to buy milk at Costco.”

Visiting that page today (Google app > tap account avatar > Reminders) displays the following blue banner:

Soon you’ll no longer be able to set reminders at locations

Learn more about alternatives 

People began noticing this change today, and the removal is honestly rather surprising for a common Assistant action. The support article Google links to only expands slightly and apparently suggests Assistant Routines as an alternative. That’s bafflingly and a bit hard to see the logic in that suggestion especially when Google Keep offers location reminders.

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.

This removal comes as the system behind Assistant reminders has long been quite basic. Interactions done via voice are fine, but the list UI showing you everything is quite bad on Android. It certainly looks and feels like an afterthought. In fact, the banner telling users that Google Assistant’s location reminders are going away is not even legible with the new dark theme.

Meanwhile, the same help page also says the ability (from 2019) to “assign a reminder to someone” is going away. The company has not provided a date on either removal, and they continue to work today.

If there’s a positive spin today, it might be that Google is doing spring cleaning ahead of the Assistant “Memory” feature that we spotted in development last year. We found that it “supercharges saving and reminders on Android.”

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com