Starting today, more Android users can get help from Google Assistant

Phones

by Gordon Gottsegen March 2, 2017 1:32 PM PST @ggottsegen

Google Assistant rolling out to Android devices now

Users of Android 6.0 and higher will find a new feature on their phones with an update that brings along Google's virtual assistant.

by Iyaz Akhtar

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Check your phone: Today, Google Assistant is available to more devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The rollout was announced last week, but Google just released a video ad (see it above), signaling that today's the day more people can start using Google's helper.

Unfortunately, Google doesn't say which devices will get the Assistant. If you're lucky, you may already have an update for Google Play Services which contains the new feature.

Google announced the Google Assistant during its hardware event in October 2016. Google Assistant is a beefed-up smart AI assistant that differs from Google's previous assistant Google Now, and offers a more personal and conversational tone than its predecessor. It can make lists, book reservations and answer follow-up questions, something that Apple's Siri struggles with.

At first, Google Assistant was exclusive to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL and advertised as a major selling point for the phone during the event. Google initially had no plans of sharing Google Assistant with other phones, but after months of exclusivity the assistant is coming to other Androids.

Don't worry if you don't see the update yet: The feature will first roll out to English users in the US, then Australia, Canada and the UK, then German speakers in Germany, as stated in Google's earlier press release.

The company also said in the release that Google Assistant will be available on Samsung, Sony, HTC and Huawei devices, showing renders of Google Assistant on the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG V20 and HTC 10 (hint, hint). Google also showcased the assistant on some of these devices at Mobile World Congress.

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