Google Assistant’s ancestor did a better job even without AI and neural networks
Some people even miss him
Google’s handy Now on Tap assistant lets users quickly pull up movie details, restaurant info, and more straight from their phone screens. But today, those features are gone mainly, as the Assistant focuses more on voice commands.
As Abner Lee explains in 9to5Google, Google’s plan to reinvigorate Assistant centers on Large Language Models that will eventually offer an “advanced assistant.” This could again analyze what’s on your screen to provide helpful context via voice, like saving dates and locations to your calendar.
The shift away from Now on Tap’s helpful on-screen features shows how Google has prioritized voice-activated actions for Assistant. While it started as a smart speaker technology, some argue it has become too voice-centric since migrating to phones, neglecting the visual capabilities.
Lee believes the Android team’s expertise positions them well to bring back some of Now on Tap’s seamless screen integrations. This could restore some of the original utility that made Assistant feel like a natural aid rather than just a voice bot.
Now, on Tap, set the standard for quick, contextual assistance on our devices. As Google works to rebuild Assistant’s capabilities, it may reflect on that early vision for inspiration. With the right voice balance and on-screen features, the new Assistant could recapture what made Now on Tap so valuable in its prime.
Let me know if you want me to modify or expand this draft blog post. I aimed to summarize the key points from the article about Now on Tap’s lost on-screen usefulness compared to the modern Assistant’s voice focus.