Google will add Assistant to non-Pixel smartphones this week

After months of exclusivity on the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google is opening up Assistant to a bunch of Android smartphones

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Adam Patrick Murray

Google Assistant might be the future of voice-controlled intelligence on our Google devices, but Google hasn’t made it easy to get it. There are versions of it on Google Home, the new LG watches, and in Allo chats, but if you wanted the full mobile Assistant experience, you had to commit to buying one of Google’s Pixel phones.

That’s all about to change with a coming Play Services update. Right on the heels of LG’s declaration that the G6 would be the first third-party smartphone to feature Assistant, Google announced that it would be bringing its voice-activated concierge to all phones running Android Nougat and Marshmallow.

As it is with the Pixel, users will be able to summon Assistant by saying “OK, Google” or long-pressing the home button. While Assistant’s capabilities vary depending on which device or app you’re using, it appears as though the full Pixel version will be used here, letting you tap into Maps and Calendar, receive weather reports, and control smart devices, among numerous other commands.

Google says Assistant will begin rolling out this week to English users in the U.S., followed by Australia, Canada, and the U.K., and to German speakers in Germany. Assistant on the Pixel also supports Hindi, Japanese, and Portuguese, and Google says it will continue to add more languages throughout the year.

The update will automatically deliver Assistant to eligible Android phones running Nougat and Marshmallow. And with a flurry of phones due to be released at Mobile World Congress this week, it’s likely that LG won’t be the only new smartphone to build in support for it.

This story, "Google will add Assistant to non-Pixel smartphones this week" was originally published by Greenbot.