This is turning out to be a month of heartbreaks for conservative Google Android fans. First, it is no longer news that Google is axing the Nexus program that many have become so familiar with for years in favour of its own branded Pixel phones. Now, it is emerging that Google Now, the intelligent assistant that has been on Android devices since 2012, is being phased out in favour of yet another new assistant, Google Assistant.
A beta version of the Google Search app that has been available since yesterday drops any references to Google Now in favour of terms that simply describe the specific features without invoking the “Now” moniker.
Since both Google Now and Google Assistant appear to be doing pretty much the same stuff even though the latter is clearly ahead, it makes sense that Google would move ahead with plans to fold the former into the latter.
Google Assistant is making its debut today in the new messaging app, Allo, whose global rollout began today. It is expected to be officially unveiled during the Pixel event on October 4th since it is the main feature of Google Home, also expected to make its debut on the same day.
So, instead of being sad, we can think of it as a relaunch. Only that the “Now” name may be gone for good.