Could the company finally streamline Keep, Tasks, and Assistant Reminders?
If you want to save a reminder on your phone, there’s no shortage of options. Google Keep remains as popular as ever, with specific dates and times attached to each note. Tasks offers a streamlined interface and an easy way to check off items as you go, but it’s hidden behind Gmail on desktop. Assistant Reminders, meanwhile, creates an entry just from a simple voice command, but it’s annoying to access your list of upcoming items. Google might be working on improving this messy situation, though we’ll have to wait and see exactly what the company has planned.
The folks at 9to5Google spotted some new code strings in an APK teardown of Calendar that suggests some big changes are at play. In a future version of the app, users will be alerted that “Reminders are now Tasks.” This move effectively removes Assistant Reminders from Calendar — they’re usually designated by a finger with a string tied around it — while keeping and, more importantly, emphasizing Tasks. Tasks support exists in Calendar right now, both for viewing previous listings and creating new ones. Once this update ships, it’ll be the only way to access your reminders alongside appointments and meetings.
The broader question here, of course, is what exactly is Google trying to do here? It’s one thing to remove a single feature from an app, but unfortunately, this isn’t Assistant Reminders’ first rodeo. The service is also losing access to location and assigned reminders, suggesting something’s up with the service. Calendar will also point users to find their existing entries in Keep, not Assistant, adding another layer of suspicion to the mix.
Between Keep, Tasks, and Assistant Reminders, it’s clear Google has some cleaning up to do. It’s a little early to say this Calendar de-integration marks the first official step, though it’s certainly setting the groundwork for something down the road. Whether we’re looking at a merge between Keep and Assistant Reminders, or a simple downplaying of the latter’s existence, will require more evidence in the future. It wouldn’t be the only example of Google cleaning up duplicate apps — the company recently confirmed it was folding Duo into Meet. For now, keep your eyes out for that Calendar update — it should arrive in version 2022.24.0.x.