The first glimpse of the Google Assistant came out to the world at 2016 I/O conference and will be available later to the users through Allo, the instant messaging app.
Without any doubt, the biggest highlight of the new smartphones from Google, the Pixel, and Pixel XL is that they come with a built-in Google Assistant feature. It will remain exclusive to these phones only until the tech giant makes firm decisions to roll out this feature for other non-Pixel devices also.
According to a confirmed report by Google, the Google Assistant feature will be arriving at the non-Pixel smartphones also, but the timeline was not revealed. Like Google Now, the Google Assistant will also be available on the home screen. It can be launched by long pressing the home button. The feature comes with AI smarts and it will also be able to dig up all the information from the earlier interactions and contextualize it with the user.
Though Google has not revealed its big plans to bring Assistant to the non-Pixel devices, there is still a way out for the Android users running Nougat on their devices to use the Google Assistant. This works well with smartphones that are rooted and also those that sport a custom recovery.
How to Run Assistant on Non-Pixel Android Nougat Devices
A short guide on how to enable Google Assistant on non-Pixel devices that are running on Android Nougat was posted by an XDA Developer Forum member. The first step before proceeding further should be to backup all the data and information on the mobile device and proceed at the user’s own risk. For the people who are unaware, the simplest way of getting the Android Nougat on the mobile device is by installing its Beta program. However, the guide could also be followed to download the latest update of Nougat manually. To run this, the user should own a smartphone that runs on Android Nougat 7.0 or newer versions and which has the Google app of version 126.96.36.199 or above installed in it.
Once the smartphone is installed with these prerequisites, the build prop file will need to be tweaked or a flashable zip file will have to be installed by using a custom recovery. Only the devices that are rooted will be able to make this work or else a change in the product model will be required. The lines on the build prop should be added or replaced with lines like “ro.product.model=Pixel XL” and “ro.opa.eligible_device=true.” After making these tweaks to the build prop file, the Google app cache should be rebooted and cleared. Once this cache is cleared and rebooted, the non-Pixel Android smartphone should now be able to run the Google Assistant feature. The Assistant can be accessed on the device by long pressing the Home button.
Another XDA user had posted a guide about how to run the Google Assistant on non-Pixel devices by using the flashable zip file. A link was posted as well to the zip itself.