Opinion poll: Did Google take a step back by replacing Google Now with Discover?

Google Discover in its current form started as Google Now back in 2012 and was later rebranded to Google Feed, before it eventually became Google Discover in 2018.

Throughout these rebrands, the original product evolved, but not in a way I would have envisioned after having religiously used Googe Now.

It started off as a neat way to present users with personalized useful information throughout the day without needing their input. Think of it like Google handling all searches on your behalf.

Google Search

By swiping right on your Android home screen, you could see cards of your calendar events, your next appointment alongside traffic conditions and suggestions of when to leave for the appointment.

You didn’t even have to worry about catching up with last evening’s football scores, when your favorite basketball team plays next, boarding passes once you arrive at the airport, tracking numbers, and so much more.

But Google started slimming down Now by moving some of these cool features to Google Assistant Snapshot. This was basically a “snapshot” of the current and upcoming events throughout your day.


However, in typical Google fashion, Snapshot was discontinued earlier this year, putting an end to the useful contextual feeds and informational cards that had become fan favorites.

Instead, you now have to directly ask Google Assistant for updates on things like calendar events, weather conditions, travel details, sports scores, birthday reminders, stock info, and more.

By the time mid-2017 arrived, Google Now had been reduced to mostly showing stories from around the web, and the name changed to Google Feed.

As noted earlier, another name change dropped in 2018, this time Google Discover. And ever since, it has been quite the decline for what was once a great and useful product.


The idea behind the original Google Now is no more. Although Discover still shows my upcoming sports events and scores, it no longer oozes the same quality that made Google Now such a powerful product.

The personalized info of your daily activity that made Google Now stand out is no more. Instead, Discover is simply a feed of random news articles from all over the internet.

And while Google claims the articles that appear in Discover feed are tailored towards individual interests, this isn’t always the case with the algorithm.

It’s even gotten more frustrating in recent years following the addition of Discovery ads in the news feed. This means somewhere in between articles displayed in your feed, Google Discover now shows ads.

Sure, Google relies heavily on ads for its revenue. But having ads in the Discover news feed is beyond greed, at least according to some users of the app.


Anyone else noticing a severe drop in quality of Discover Feed content lately? Over the past few months it seems like I’m getting fewer and fewer quality articles recommended to me via Discover. Almost everything it recommends seems like bot-written trash that are usually little more than long-form ads for whatever product or service the article is about, and those articles are stuffed to the gills with even more ads, popups, and other shitty content. Pretty much every potentially legitimate article is paywalled, which then just feels like an ad for the paywalled content.

The evolution of Google Now has evidently disappointed quite a good number of users, including yours truly. In fact, some are now advocating for completely disabling Discover to send a message to Google.

While that’s an option, there are also other less radical ways of addressing the issue with Discover ads as highlighted in our coverage.

For some of us, though, Google Now was a much more superior product, and it’s quite unfortunate that it was replaced with a rather disappointing approach to the original idea.


Deep down I miss Google Now, but it’s unlikely that Google will ever consider bringing it back. Discover is here to stay, perhaps because it contributes to company revenues through ads.

Either way, do let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Is Google Discover a step back from the original Google Now?

  • Yes (100%, 2 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Never used either (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.