Google Assistant has become quite notorious for its fickle features. One day something works, the other not. An excellent example of that is "What's on my screen?" which has disappeared and reappeared so many times we've nearly lost count. The last time it went away was in May of 2019, and now nine months later, it's making a surprise comeback.

"What's on my screen," previously known as "Now on Tap," is one of the suggestion chips that show up when you activate Assistant (the old interface, not the Pixel 4's new one) in any app on your phone. It doesn't appear if you're on the homescreen, because it needs something to be on the screen to do its thing. It usually finds names, companies, things, people, places, dates, etc, mentioned and suggests actions you can take.

Users started complaining about the chip's disappearance in May, and reports kept pouring in as recently as a few days ago. Trying to circumvent the chip by directly asking Assistant "What's on my screen" failed too, so the functionality was completely missing.

Now, the chip and feature are back — at least for some users. Redditor Meningna first noticed it and several other users confirmed it. I also have it on my Pixel 4 XL.

A Google app or Play Services update is likely responsible for this, though I couldn't pinpoint that easily. The Redditor reports being on Play Services version 20.1.04 while I'm on the older 20.04.12, however I'm using a newer Google app 10.96.9.29 while they're on 10.94.12.21. It may also be enabled with a server-side update. It's anyone's guess at this point, but we're certainly happy to see the option pop up again.

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  • Thanks:
  • Armando