One of the things I love about Pixel phones is the “At a Glance” widget that presents you with helpful information on your home screen when you need it. Recently, the widget has been gaining even more functionality that constitutes quality of life improvements, such as flashlight reminders, air quality alerts, and a Nest doorbell video feed. At the same time, though, one functionality was quietly removed and looks to be making its way back.
I am referring to traffic info and travel time for commuters. As 9to5Google noticed, this function has seen changes on the At a Glance widget as it was first called “Commute and Time to Leave,” but then sometime in July evolved to drop the “Commute” part and become just “Time to leave,” presumably because many users were working from home during the pandemic.
It has now quietly made its way back in yet another evolution just called “Commute: Traffic info and travel time,” which exists in addition to “Time to leave: Recommended departure time for upcoming events.” These two are independent as one uses events on your calendar, and the other, we guess, will use what you have set under the “Your places” and “Transporation” sections of your assistant profile.
As people slowly return to working out of the office or have adopted a hybrid schedule, commute traffic info will become increasingly more important, particularly in places where driving a car to work is prohibitive or where public transit is very well developed and can be depended on. The “At a Glance” widget is also expected to receive even more helpful features down the line, such as a cross-device timer, food delivery notifications, and the status of your Uber or Lyft.