Google Assistant was one of the main selling points of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. This software addition from Google formed a key part of the Pixel experience, and the company intended to keep the experience exclusive for a while. You could still find ways to make use of Google Assistant on unsupported phones, but for the most part, average users would have limited choices if they wished to experience Google Assistant.
That changes today, as Google has lifted the exclusivity of Google Assistant from the few select means to now include a wide range of devices. All devices running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above with Google Play Services installed will now be able to access and enjoy Google Assistant just like they could on the Pixel.
Allowing all Android 6.0+ devices access to Assistant expands the apps support to more than 30% of Android users. This is a significant jump when one considers that Android 7.0 and 7.1 together constitute only 1.2% of Android devices as per the Android distribution numbers from February.
Google is also opening up Google Assistant to OEMs to include in their devices. The newly announced LG G6, as a result, will also be shipping with Google Assistant.
Assistant will begin rolling out this week to English users in the U.S., followed by English in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as German speakers in Germany. We’ll continue to add more languages over the coming year.
Google says its goal is to eventually “make the Assistant available anywhere you need it.” Opening up to previous Android versions is one step in that direction.
What are your thoughts on Google rolling out Assistant to all devices on Android 6.0 and above? Do you look forward to trying it out on your phone? Let us know in the comments below!