One of the most suitable ways to set a timer was to search for one on Google until recently. Punch in a query like “10-minute timer,” and you’d get a ten-minute timer.
But last month, reports emerged that this feature had disappeared from Google without warning.
The handy feature seems to have disappeared last month. Search Engine Roundtable was the first to cover the missing timer on July 20th, citing tweets from around July 18th.
Although there is no shortage of timers elsewhere on the web (or provided as stock apps on iOS and Android), Google’s built-in version was a simple, accessible alternative. As well as the timer, there was also a stopwatch feature built into the same widget for when you need to count up rather than down. The feature dates back almost a decade, having been introduced in 2013.
Google is yet to acknowledge the removal of the feature formally, so it may be the case that an accidental bug has caused it to disappear. Google’s public search liaison Danny Sullivan first said he’d look into the issue on July 21st.
Almost a week later, on July 27th, the team was “still checking on it.” If its disappearance is a bug, it may be hard to squash. A spokesperson from Google did not immediately return a comment.
Intentionally removing the feature would be a strange move for Google, given it’s spent much of the last decade building more features natively into its search results page.
What started as a simple list of hyperlinks now includes everything from rich snippets that attempt to answer your search query directly to a dedicated box for news stories and even more specific features, like a built-in price comparison tool for airplane flights. Unfortunately, none of these appear to be going anywhere.