Google Assistant’s incredibly powerful settings menu may get a big usability upgrade

No one likes browsing through endless settings menus, especially as development continues to add extra features and functionality. An unorganized preferences menu can make even the most obvious settings feel like a chore to change, and there’s no better example of this than the current state of Google Assistant. Luckily, the company is working on a total overhaul of Assistant’s settings menu, finally bringing some improved organization into the mix.

As it stands right now, Assistant’s settings are all dumped into a single list, organized alphabetically without any sort of categorization. This method is, unsurprisingly, a complete disaster to browse, often leaving users unclear about where particular options are stored. As spotted by 9to5Google through an APK teardown, Google is preparing to add three categories to the menu:

  • Customize your Assistant
  • Get things done
  • Manage apps and services

It’s a small change, even keeping the alphabetical order within each subcategory (minus, of course, General, which takes preference over everything else in the Customize subhead). However, it makes things look and feel a bit more manageable. Need to change something about your Assistant experience? That’ll likely fall under the Customize category. Trying to locate your preferred music player? That’s under Manage apps and services.

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Google Assistant's incredibly powerful settings menu may get a big usability upgrade 2

Some of the options within each category have been changed and customized, too. The cryptically-titled “You” will switch to “Your information” — and boy, does that make a lot more sense — “Hey Google & Voice Match” is becoming “Access your Assistant,” and some new options are playing host to various similar categories. “Home & family” is a perfect example, as Google has shoved Home control, Face Match, Family Bell, Assignable reminders, and parental controls. Those last two are particularly odd; the latter because, as 9to5 notes, it seems to be new, while the former is actually disappearing from Assistant altogether sometime in the near future.

There’s no specific launch window for when this redesigned menu might roll out, but it’s such a massive improvement, we can only hope it arrives soon.

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