At the Google I/O in May 2016, Google unveiled its own voice assistant called Google Assistant. It competes with the Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. While it is exclusive to the Google Pixel devices in the beginning, the company later made it available for all the latest smartphones starting with LG G6. It is even available on the Android Wear smartwatches and Google’s smart speaker, Google Home. From today, the Google Assistant will also work on the Android tablets and smartphones running on Android Lollipop & above.
The rollout will happen in the coming days for all the supported devices in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Singapore, Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil, or Korea. During the initial launch, the Google Assistant is only limited to smartphones running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. Talking about the tablets, the Google Assistant still lacks the support for Android 5.0 Lollipop. The tablet users in the U.S with the language set to English will be getting the update in the next couple of weeks.
The users need to hold the home button to trigger the Google Assistant manually, or they can simply say Ok Google. With the Google Assistant, the user can make phone calls, send text messages, set reminders, set alarm, and many more. Earlier this month, Google during the launch of Android Go edition also announced the Google Assistant support for the Jio Phone running on KaiOS. Though the JioPhone comes with its own voice assistant called Hello Jio, the Google Assistant announcement came as a surprise.
Google also release the Google Assistant Go, the lite app for the Android Oreo (Go edition) powered smartphones. Unlike the standard Google Assistant app, the Google Assistant Go will come in smaller file size and might lack all the functions. As of December 11th, only 0.5% Android smartphones are running on the latest Android 8.0 Oreo, and the years-old Android Lollipop is still on 26.3% smartphones.