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Google Assistant’s reminders will soon nag your significant other for you

Reminders are a useful feature for those of us who have horrible short-term memories. Soon Google Assistant will allow you to assign reminders to others with the same problem (or who conveniently “forget”). The feature will roll out to Google Assistant-enabled phones, speakers, and displays over the next few weeks, and to Google’s Nest Hub Max when that debuts this fall, the company said.

As it stands now, reminders can be created to be triggered based on time and location, but there’s no way for you to create them for other people easily. With the change, you’ll now be able to assign them to others within your household.

It works like this: Say, for example, you wanted to remind your husband, Greg, to take out the trash this evening, so it’s out for pickup tomorrow. Saying something like “Hey, Google, remind Greg to take out the trash at 8 p.m.,” would not only send an immediate notification to Greg’s Google Assistant-enabled devices but remind him again at the time you set.

Like traditional reminders, assigned reminders can also be set to be triggered by arrival or departure from locations the user specifies, the company said. While a relatively minor change to Google Assistant overall, for busy homes, the new feature seems like the 21st-century version of Post-It notes on the refrigerator.

This latest move follows a recent change in how Google handles reminders on Android devices. As first spotted by Android Police last week, reminders now must go through Google Assistant. If you have the Assistant turned off, you’ll lose access to Reminders completely.

While the change seemed to annoy Android loyalists who eschew Google’s digital assistant, perhaps those changes were necessary to make these new assignable reminders work correctly. Google Assistant delivers reminder notifications now, and if the person you want to remind isn’t using Assistant, they won’t receive the reminder.

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