Google Assistant is coming to all Android 6.0-powered smartphones

Google Assistant’s rollout has been quite limited till now. It is currently available only on Pixel phones, Google Home wireless speaker, Allo messaging app, the Nvidia Shield TV, and some Android TVs. Now, Google is ready to rollout its AI-powered assistant to a wide range of devices. The search giant announced at MWC 2017 that Google Assistant is coming to all smartphones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.

The Google Assistant will be available starting later this week for English users in the US, followed by English users in Australia, Canada, and the UK. The AI-powered assistant service will also be available for German speakers in Germany at the same time. More languages would be made available for the course of the year. Thankfully, a full firmware update isn’t necessary to start using Google Assistant. The update will be a part of an update to the Google Search app (version 6.13).

All Android-powered smartphones satisfying the above criteria and running Google Play Services would be eligible to run Google Assistant. Moreover, a phone needs to have at least a 720p display and 1.5GB RAM to run the Assistant. Google will showcase the Assistant running on phones from Huawei, HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony later this week at MWC 2017. There is currently no information as to when it would be available for smartphones in India or for English users in India.

If you don’t already know about the Google Assistant, it’s an AI-powered virtual assistant, just like Siri. You can use it to know information such as upcoming calendar events, weather alerts, restaurant and movie suggestions, photos from your Google Photos library, and facts. It can also control IoT devices in your home such as Philips Hue and others. It will compete with Amazon’s Alexa. However, Google has been working on AI for years now, and Android provides it a far wider reach than the Alexa, which might help Assistant in the future.

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[Source: GoogleVia: Android Central]

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