Time’s up for Google Search’s built-in timer

All the way back in 2013, Google introduced a nifty little feature in its search engine tool that had nothing to do with search at all: a timer. All users had to do was search for anything like “14 minute timer” or “timer until 2pm” and Google would generate a widget and begin the countdown automatically. People were already spending loads of time on Google at that point, it might have well made sense to let people keep track of it there. Well, now that timer seems to have run out of time, at least on desktop.


You can still give your phone a voice command (either through Search or Google Assistant) to set up a timer and it’ll do it. But entering a text command on either mobile or desktop to set a timer just won’t work anymore — users are primarily treated to YouTube results instead.

A Hacker News user made mention of it today, but it seems SERoundTable caught wind of this change ten days ago through the Deccan Herald. I only make note of this research thread just because it’s rather telling of the obsolescence of a Google Search-based timer (or stopwatch, don’t forget that it could count up as well!) since we have other ways to get from nowhere near our clock app to our clock app and instantly set it to count towards wherever we want it to go.

More importantly these days, we want those timers (and the reminder they’re supposed to stand for) to be available wherever we want them. That’s been a challenge when we have so many devices on so many software platforms these days, but at least there’s some hope that Google Assistant will be building bridges to cross the gaps soon. It might be coming in a Pixel Feature Drop soon enough.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment. We’ll see if anyone over there takes the time to reply and update this story when they do.

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