Google is offering a keyboard input support for the Google Assistant of the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
The Google Assistant comes with many features, but the availability of these features is not the same for all devices. There are certain tools seen on some Google phones and devices, but these are missing in the Assistant of some other devices.
Google Assistant Situation
The situation of Google Assistant is in a mess at present. In fact, the three Google Assistants come with different set of features, with each having some feature missing. The Google Assistant built in the Pixel and Pixel XL OS has the ability for taking voice commands, but users can write an order. Again, the Google Assistant found in Allo, a Google chat app, has features for texting or talking, but it can only reply through text and does not talk to the user. The third one, the Google Assistant found in the Home device, also comes with limited features and does not offer support to multiple accounts.
It is not clear whether Google wants to make any changes to the Google Assistant or whether it wants it to have consistent features in its various roles. Google has announced the appearance of the Google Assistant on Android Wear watches and also on Android TVs. However, it has not mentioned any smartphones that will receive the services of the Assistant. This could be because the company wishes to keep it exclusively for the Pixel devices, as it is a major selling point of Google’s latest smartphone.
Keyboard Input Support
Android Police recently performed the teardown of Google application version of 6.10, which is in beta, and noted that Google is planning to offer the support for keyboard input in its new update. This support will be available for the Pixel and the Pixel XL devices only, as of now. Once the feature is live, the icon for the keyboard will be seen while interacting with the Google Assistant. Once the user taps on this icon, he or she can type out a query to the Assistant. However, the way in which the Assistant will respond to the query is yet to be seen. For instance, whether it will speak to the user when spoken to and whether it will send a written reply for those using the keyboard.
The keyboard input support will be useful when users are in crowded locations and just want to ask a query without others hearing it.
Assistant for Android Wear
Google has begun to work on the integration of the Google Assistant with Android Wear, also seen from the APK file teardown of the beta release of the Google Assistant app for Android. However, it is not known whether all owners of Android Wear watches will be able to pair it with their phones. It could be that only those having the Pixel smartphones will be able to use it.
The aforementioned APK file also mentions a search gesture, which could mean that users can search for content within the apps on their smartphones or on the Internet. It will possibly offer a deeper search feature available in apps.