Google Assistant looks set to get a major upgrade that will help you store and remember almost any piece of information, then easily find it later.
According to 9to5 Google (opens in new tab), the enhanced Memory feature will be a combination of to-do list, scrapbook, reading list and digital archive to which you can save anything for easy retrieval. It's reportedly already being tested within Google — although as yet there's no word on when it will be rolled out.
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While Google Assistant already has a Memory feature, it's fairly limited at present: you can verbally tell Assistant to remember things for you, then ask it to remind you later.
The new version sounds a lot more powerful, with 9to5Google reporting that it can save a massive variety of content, including “articles, books, contacts, events, flights, hotels, images, movies, music, notes, photos, places, playlists, products, recipes, reminders, restaurants, screenshots, shipments, TV shows, videos, and websites.”
The site has taken a selection of screenshots from the new Memory feature, and they give an intriguing insight into the kind of things that will be possible.
Once you've stored something, it'll be viewable in a new Memory feed inside Assistant, alongside the existing Snapshot feature. This will be organized in reverse chronological order, though Google will have card entries for both “Older Memories” and “Today”.
And as with the recent changes to Google Photos, which saw an enhanced role for the Lens visual search feature, Memory will also serve up contextually relevant content alongside the things you save. So if you save flight information, for instance, it might show flight status alongside it, while a movie listing might be shown with its trailer.
There'll also be a new way to store things to Memory: as well as asking Assistant verbally, you'll be able to use a homescreen shortcut, making it easy to add things you're looking at onscreen. Saved items can also be tagged with labels, for easy finding later.
We don't know when Memory will launch (assuming it actually passes Google's internal testing), but it sounds like a great upgrade. Here's hoping it arrives before too long.
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