I have been a fairly heavy user of Google Assistant ever since I purchased the Google Pixel 2 XL and received the free Google Home Mini. I use it multiple times a day to do everything from turn lights on, to play music, to schedule reminders. One of the things I love about the Google Assistant is how smart it is. It’s so smart that it is able to interpret what certain words mean depending on the day and time. The best example of this is something I utilize frequently and was discussed over at Android Police; Google Assistant will view the word “tomorrow” differently depending on the time of day. However, the more I use the Google Assistant, the more I am convinced Google isn’t sure how it wants the Google Assistant to respond to “tomorrow.”
As a college student, I am almost always ending my days after midnight, whether it be from studying (unlikely) or video games (likely). If I need to remember something to take with me to class the next day, I ask the Google Assistant, “Remind me to take X to class tomorrow at 8 AM.” Because it is usually around 1 AM, when I say tomorrow, I actually mean later that same day. Thankfully, Google Assistant is smart enough to know this and schedules my reminder accordingly. This works for all reminders set between midnight and 5 AM. Unfortunately, I have found the interpretation of the word “tomorrow” is anything but consistent.
Let’s take another example of a command I use several times a week. If I am getting ready for bed and it is 1 AM on Wednesday, I will ask the Google Assistant, “What is my schedule for tomorrow.” It is quite obvious to me that I am asking for any calendar events I have for Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Google Assistant reads off my events for Thursday. When asking about calendar events, it will always take tomorrow to mean the next day even regardless of what time it is.
This is also the case when creating a calendar event through the Google Assistant. I cannot count the amount of times I have created a event using Google Assistant just after midnight and had the event get scheduled 24 hours later than I expected. This is extremely confusing since scheduling other things like reminders take the time of day into account.
The same inconsistency exists when asking about the weather, too. If it is 1 AM and I ask the Google Assistant, “What is the weather for tomorrow?,” it will tell me what I am looking for – the weather for later that day, not for the following day.
I think that Google Assistant is a wonderful and smart tool that has definitely made my life a little bit easier; however, the confusion around how it interprets “tomorrow” needs to be remedied with some standardization on Google’s end. I hate having to remember that it means one thing when setting a reminder after midnight but another when creating a calendar event. It’s early in the morning and the last thing I want to be doing is racking my brain for how my virtual assistant thinks. Google, if you want the Google Assistant to become the virtual assistant for the masses, you have to iron out basic commands.