Google seems to be testing internally something called Memory, which will live inside the Google Assistant and Search app. It seems to be a ‘dogfood’ feature in early development and will let you capture virtually anything and ask your assistant to remember it for you later using voice commands. There is also an interface that allows you to organize and search for memories as desired, and 9to5Google managed to get a bunch of screenshots of it. We’ve put a few below, but be sure to check out the rest of them from Abner Li later. Here is a list of all the memories you can capture with the assistant:
- Handwritten notes
- TV programs
In the past, you have been able to ask Google Assistant to remember your favorite color, your birthday, and other basic information. When you ask it to tell you what the answers to these questions were, the assistant dipped into his hidden memory and gave you the answer you gave it earlier. ‘Assistant Memory’ as a service seems to overload the cute little feature and turn it into an accessible powerhouse that you can use directly, and I have to admit – it’s really cool.
If all of this already sounds familiar to you, it’s because we covered many of these features several times when we talked about Google’s top secret collection feature. I guess it’s no longer a secret. Not only that, but it looks like it’s still very important to Google, and it’s being transformed into something a little more automated and intelligent. The collections are fantastic, but there is still quite a bit of manual work involved – it feels more like a Pinterest alternative than anything. Linking the opportunity to gather things that are valuable to you in the assistant and “Get Google to do it”, so to speak, may be exactly what content sorting needs right now!
There is a “Subject” section that you can see in the screenshot above that allows you to “Create Subject”, and this gives me serious “New Collection” vibes – it even has the bookmark icon for Google Collections which I constantly point out over almost every Google service in the past. Since it allows you to collect much of the same content from the web as you can with collections, I think that Memory will one day completely replace it.
If this means that Google Collections actually goes the way of dodo, I will not be upset. As enthusiastic as I am about them – as I have said many times, and I stick to it – it is only natural that these things take on new forms. It’s like I always say – Google is a constantly evolving company with ever evolving ideas, and those who like their products the most are the ones who can get that fact. We are constantly seeing this shift in their services more and more towards AI and machine learning, so this is really not a big surprise. What is important to me is that the idea of collecting things is the future, and that it is preserved. Not only that, but the idea of ”bookmarks” still gets a facelift, so it’s win-win for me!
The fact that Memory also lets you capture many of the things listed above from the real world, makes me believe that it will use Google Lens directly, which was recently placed on the Android Google search box and given a new icon. Coincidence? I do not think! If you capture things from a digital source, such as a Web site or a document, the assistant will apparently keep the context and source as part of that memory card.
There will be special cards for things like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, Websites, Jamboards and more, and all your memories will be presented to you in a Google Discover style feed. On the bottom shelf of the Memory feed is a snapshot icon, so I think Google wants you to check your memories every day as part of – or in addition to – your snapshot. The latter already shows you many things about your day, including upcoming calendar events, tasks and more from Assistant, so I can also see that the company combines these one day.
Depending on the type of “memory card” and information (I guess our brains need memory cards now? Let the Android revolution begin!) The wizard will show you contextual options related to it. For example, let’s say you have an incoming flight and it is stored on a memory card – which I assume is ‘automatically’ retrieved from Gmail as the assistant already does – you can then see options to check the flight status. If it is a parcel shipment, you may see an option to track it. If it’s a movie or a TV show, you can watch an option to watch a trailer for it, and so on. All this automation makes me drool a little – it’s amazing!
You will also see in the accompanying screen that there is an option “Read later”. If Google intends to include articles from Google Discover, Google News or Chrome’s reading list feature (hopefully all three!), It could mean that many of the features we’ve tracked over the past year may be closer than ever. before and it’s time. To prove this, Google is working to allow you to collapse your Chrome tab groups in your reading list for later recall.
There’s also a new Chrome Memories feature on Chromebooks that we’ve been keeping an eye on. Memories on the web used to lead us to a corrupted page, but now, when we visit chrome: // memories, we are presented with some text in the middle of the screen that says “based on previous web activity”. We already have chrome: // history and Google Activity to track online activity, so why is a memory department needed?
This sounds crazy, but listen to me for a moment – what if Google intends to use chrome: // memories to let you access assistant memory (maybe the future of Google Collections?) Directly from your desktop browser or Chromebook? What if Assistant Memory also contains your Chrome Reading List items? If your reading list becomes the new home of hidden tab groups, does that also mean that your tab groups will exist in your memory and be available in a new tab similar to the Toby tab manager?
There seems to be some evidence that Chrome: // memories is intended for users to access their tab groups, and since it shares a very similar name to Google Assistant Memory, is that coincidental? I personally do not think it is, nor does Dinsan from Chrome Story.
The only progress I could make was to find this hashtag in Chromium code. Within a few other code change requests for the memory feature, I found reviews of browser history and tab groups.
If everything you do online is tracked in your Google activity, and many of these things are available in your Google memory, does that mean that your activity may one day be bundled with Memory? I know I’m jumping a little bit here, and the last one may be a little stretchy, but I’m a futurist, and I’m excited! Do not forget that Google Activity tracks your activity on all your devices, not just a laptop.
Imagine, for a moment, using Google’s products and services, only they provide a more cohesive experience than ever before. I know, I can not imagine it either. Google has come a long way over the years, but I would be lying if I said that many of the services were super well done before the release. We have been waiting for the opportunity to add articles to a reading list for many years and among other things get access to them across devices, so if they have finally found a way to bring everything important to us together in one place by the way to humanize data and make it more personal, then I’m 100% on board and look forward to trying this. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get canned like our beloved kaleidoscope though – cross your fingers.