Google Assistant expands beyond Pixel to other phones – USA TODAY
BARCELONAâThe virtual Google Assistant is going to spread its voice beyond Googleâs own Pixel devices.
Google announced that starting this week, it will roll out a software upgrade that brings the Assistant to all Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Play Services. Thatâs the software Google uses to update Google apps and services on Android devices.
Google says the rollout will come first to English users in the U.S., followed by English users in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, as well as German speakers in Germany. More languages will be added over the course of the year.
âOur goal is to make the Assistant available anywhere you need it. It came to Android Wear 2.0âvia new smartwatchesâjust a few weeks ago and, as we previewedÂ in January, the Assistant is also coming to TVs and cars,â blogged Gummi Hafsteinsson, Googleâs product lead for the Google Assistant.
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Such voice assistants are emerging as the next mobile frontier. Along those lines, Google is following the lead of Amazon, which is pushing its own voice assistant Alexa in all sorts of devices, including Huaweiâs Mate 9 that was showcased last month during CES in Las Vegas. Microsoft’s Cortana debuted a few years ago on Windows phones but has since spread elsewhere. Of course, Apple’s Siri still remains on the iPhone and other Apple-only devices.
Mobile World Congress attendees in Barcelona can check out the Google Assistant on phones from HTC, Huawei, Samsung and Sony.
And LGâs new G6 smartphone announced here at the show will be optimized for the Google Assistant. That means users will be able to summon the Assistant with the familiar âOK, Googleâ voice command, even when the phoneâs screen is dark.
With this update, Google says, hundreds of millions of Android users will gain access to the Google Assistant.