Google decided to bring back a feature that stopped working late last month. The timer feature in Google Search that allows users to set a timer or stopwatch is now available again. Users typing and searching for commands like “set a 10-minute timer” and “start stopwatch” in Google Search on desktop or mobile can now see a widget with said timer (autostart) or stopwatch.
When it stopped working in July, such searches returned some “irrelevant” results with landing pages from different websites. According to a report from AndroidPolice, the feature has started showing the widget again, and Google search contact Danny Sullivan also recently shared a tweet confirming the feature’s availability.
According to a report by The Verge, Sullivan recently tweeted about the feature’s return from his official Twitter account. Sullivan added that he’s aware of the problem, but hasn’t been able to provide a satisfactory answer for the feature’s return. Additionally, Sullivan also confirmed the feature’s eventual return earlier this month, but was unable to provide a firm timeline.
How this feature works
The report mentions that this Google search feature works the same way as before. Currently, when the user asks Google to “set a timer” (with no specified length of time), the countdown starts at 5 minutes. Users can also specify other time periods or set them to a certain time of day, such as 3:15 PM.
In addition, users can also bring up the smartwatch from Google Search, but have to start it themselves, while the timer starts automatically. In addition to that, users can do the same by issuing voice commands to the Google app or Google Assistant on their mobile devices.