Assistant's daily Snapshot feed is the reincarnation of the Google Now of ol' for our modern times. It took a few years for Google to migrate and integrate most of Now's excellent functionality into Assistant, but we're finally there now. We get weather, calendar, shipping, travel, commute, reservation, and more contextual cards, and it's all customizable. We can even call it with a simple "Hey Google, show me my day." What we can't do, though, is swipe right on the homescreen to get to it — that functionality has been monopolized by the Discover articles and ads. But Google has implemented another faster way to get to Snapshot. The only issue? You can't force it, you have to wait for the Googods to give it to you.
This faster access is a measly but special homescreen shortcut. To get it (hopefully), you should open the Assistant's Snapshot now, cross your fingers, and look for a card at the top that offers it. The card may have appeared for some of you over the past few months, but it started showing up for more (if not all) Assistant users over the past couple of days. Google likely flipped a server-side switch and decided to enable it.
Now tap Add shortcut then Add automatically in the screen that follows, and that's it. You should have an icon on your homescreen that immediately loads Snapshot.
Here it is in its absolute glory:
Now you may be wondering why we're making a fuss about this being some kind of a limited-edition shortcut. In a few words, the reason is there's no other way for you to trigger it. But to elaborate: like the Sports, Weather, and a few other special Google shortcuts, this isn't a traditional icon:
- It's not a widget shortcut that you can add from the widget options.
- It's an independent Google app launcher shortcut (as evidenced by the mini Google icon on its lower right), but no matter how many times you tap and hold on the regular Google icon, you won't get Snapshot as an option — it's hidden.
- It doesn't trigger a known activity, so you can't use activity launcher apps or Nova Launcher to duplicate its functionality. So if you were hoping to load it when you swipe right in Nova, you can't.
- Even with root or Tasker, there doesn't seem to be any workaround to sneak your way to it.
So when Google offers you that card with the shortcut, take it, take it fast, and don't think twice. Put it on your homescreen and pray that you never remove it by mistake. If you do, you may never get the suggestion to add it again, a tragedy that one of our readers experienced. Heartbreaking.
- Eduardo Ribeiro,
- Kieron Quinn