Google Assistant supercharges Snapshot with tasks and recommendations

Chris Davies - Aug 27, 2020, 12:00pm CDT
Google Assistant supercharges Snapshot with tasks and recommendations

Google Assistant Snapshot is getting an upgrade, adding tasks and personalized recommendations to the organization feature. Launched two years ago, Snapshot aimed to make the Assistant more proactive, with a visual overview of the day ahead in the Google app.

Unlike a standard calendar, Snapshot promised some extra smarts baked in. Appointments wouldn’t just be shown, but travel time to get to them as well. Reminders for things like upcoming bills to pay, or deliveries to expect, were included too. There’d also be signposting to other Assistant Actions that users might not be aware of.

Now, Snapshot is getting some new abilities. Most useful is probably going to be the new tasks feature, which builds on the existing reminders. The Assistant will pick out things like upcoming birthdays and holidays, Google says, to flag in the app.

It’ll also adjust the overall Snapshot view you get, depending on the time of the day you look at it, and based on what topics you recently covered in interactions with the Assistant. If you look in the morning, for example, you might get commute updates, a weather report, and a summary of the top headlines.

Later on, though, there might be completely different recommendations. Another new feature being added to Snapshot is more suggestions for things like recipes, podcasts, and nearby restaurants (including those that deliver). The recommendations will be tailored to individual users, and they’ll also vary depending on factors like the time of day you look at them.

Until now, Snapshot was accessed via the Google Assistant, with an icon in the bottom left corner. On Android devices, though, and in the Google app for iPhone, you’ll now be able to call the feature up by voice instead. Saying “Hey Google, show me my day,” will bring up the Snapshot interface.

Alternatively you can wait for the Assistant to bring Snapshot to you. Google is turning on notifications for the summary view, as well as for things like upcoming birthdays. Opening the notification will link to a Snapshot card with related content, including suggestions for calling or texting the appropriate contact.

Initially, “Hey Google” access to Snapshot will be limited to those using English as their default language. Google says it’ll roll it out to other languages in the coming months.

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