It’s an uncertain time for Google Assistant, amid layoffs and streamlining of their hardware lines. Google has further stirred the mix by announcing they’ll be cutting almost 20 features from the Assistant as well as their smart devices. 

The features will begin to disappear from January 26th, with Google advising if you call one of the affected features you’ll be notified that it won’t be available after a certain date. 

There’s a number of features disappearing including the Calm meditation integration, ability to control audiobooks and more. Google has provided a full list of the features being removed, as well as offering alternatives on how to achieve the same effect. 

The complete list includes:

  • Playing and controlling audiobooks on Google Play Books with your voice. You can still cast audiobooks from your mobile device.
  • Setting or using media alarms, music alarms, or radio alarms on Google Assistant enabled devices. You can create a custom Routine that has similar behavior or use a standard alarm.
  • Accessing or managing your cookbook, transfering recipes from device to device, playing an instructional recipe video, or showing step-by-step recipes. You can use Google Assistant to search for recipes across the web and YouTube.
  • Managing a stopwatch on Smart Displays and Speakers. You can still set timers and alarms.
  • Using your voice to call a device or broadcast a message to your Google Family Group. You can still broadcast to devices in your home.
  • Using 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.
  • Using App Launcher in Google Assistant driving mode on Google Maps to read and send messages, make calls, and control media. You can still use voice control on Google Maps the same way.
  • Asking to schedule or hear previously scheduled Family Bell announcements. You can create a custom Routine that has similar behavior.
  • Asking to meditate with Calm. You can still ask for meditation options with media providers such as YouTube.
  • Voice control for activities will no longer be available on Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 devices. You’ll need to use the buttons on your device to start, stop, pause, and resume activities. You can still voice control activities on Pixel Watches.
  • Viewing your sleep summaries will only be available on Google Smart Displays. You can still ask for sleep details by voice on third-party smart clocks.
  • Calls made from speakers and Smart Displays will not show up with a caller ID unless you’re using Duo.
  • Viewing the ambient “Commute to Work” time estimates on Smart Displays. You can still ask for commute times and get directions by voice.
  • 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 send a payment, make a reservation, or post to social media. You can still ask Assistant to open your installed apps. 

Google is positioning the removal of features as one that will benefit the Assistant, and users overall. In the announcement, Assistant VP Duke Dukellis cited the need to prioritise the experiences users love, by removing these underutilised features. 

There’s a few features I use personally like the recipe management and I’ll be giving them feedback. If you find there’s a feature you use that is going away, you can always send feedback to Google by saying “Hey Google, send feedback” and then sharing your comments.