Adding new items to your shopping list or creating small notes are two of my most-used Google Assistant features. It's so convenient to say "Hey Google, add onions to my shopping list," and not have to worry about it until I open my list before heading to the supermarket. Now, Assistant is adding a shortcut to make this action easier if you prefer to type instead of talking.

A few days ago, we noticed that Assistant's Snapshot screen had added a new floating action button. When we covered the news, only the option to create a new reminder was there for us, but a few of our readers noticed two more for shopping items and notes. We've been trying to replicate this feature to see how it works and have finally cracked the mystery of the different options.

From our testing, the three options show up when you don't have any default provider set in Google Assistant's settings for "Notes & Lists." If you rely on Google to save those in its own system (with its outdated UI), you get all three options.

Creating a note is as simple as writing the text for it. It then shows up as a card inside your Snapshot, from which you can see all your notes, add a new one, or create a list.

The same goes for adding new shopping items. Type the text and it'll go into your shopping list. The latter also gets its own card in your Snapshot screen with buttons to add more items, edit the list, or share it.

However, if you have chosen a default service in Assistant's "Notes & Lists" settings (the options are Keep, Any.do, AnyList, and Bring), the shortcuts for adding a note or shopping item mysteriously disappear from the floating action button menu in Snapshot. Only reminders remain.

We've tried this on several devices and a multitude of times, and can say with confidence this seems to be the reason some of us get all three options and others not. On my phone, I noticed that there's a brief period of time when I switch from no default provider to Keep where the three options still show up. I can then create a note or add a shopping item that does sync with Keep without an issue. The next time I try, the options disappear.

There's a brief window where I can add a note or shopping item to Keep, then the option disappears.

We know the shortcuts are working as intended, regardless of which notes and lists service provider you've picked, but there seems to be a bug or some vague reason why Google has only enabled them for its basic system. Hopefully, this will be sorted out soon and the options will show up for every user.

  • Thanks:
  • Gurkanwal Singh,
  • Omar Tosca and everyone in this thread