Google on Tap never really managed to catch on quite the way Google had originally intended, and with the Pixel it was never even an option, with the Google Assistant essentially replacing it. There’s a lot to love about Google Assistant and now it’s rolling out to a wide array of Android 6.0 and Android 7.0 devices. Not impressed, and would rather keep Now on Tap for whatever reason? At least for now, that’s totally possible with an easy ‘hack’.

Basically all you need to do is follow a few easy steps. First, go to Settings. Next, scroll to Language & Input, tap Languages and tap on Add a language. The language of choice will likely be English for many of our readers, but for the region, you’re going to want to put an area where Google Assistant currently isn’t supported. As an example, try picking US Virgin Islands.

After you do this, you’ll need to remove English (United States). Just like that, you’ll notice that Google Now on Tap will now have replaced Assistant. This even happens to work on the Pixel and Pixel XL, two phones that never offered Now on Tap out of the box.

It’s a fun trick, but honestly, most folks will probably prefer Google Assistant anyhow. It’s also hard to say how long this workaround will continue to function, and so eventually you’re probably going to have to just deal with the switch. What do you think of Google Assistant? Did you ever actively use Google Now on Tap or did you find it less than useful in that form?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.

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  • Meh. That’s why everyone has the search bar on the homescreen.

  • Thomas Scarano

    Or just ask Google assistant to show you my google now and it will open it. No settings change necessary…

    • Ikeeki320

      What about if you’re in a meeting or loud environment or simply don’t want others around you too hear what you’re searching for? Google Assistant needs to bring back the ability to type search as well as voice search.

  • Jason Thomas Dahl

    This must be a really slow roll out. Still haven’t received Google Assistant.

    • pcberdwin

      I was super excited when I got it last night. Happened when Google app in the store updated. I was disappointed, though, when I am expected to use my voice and can’t use a keyboard at all. I also can’t select text from it’s screen grabs like before.

      • Benjamin Haube

        You can use Google Assistant just like Now on Tap. when you hold down the home button to get Assistant just swipe up and you’ll see the same cards Now On Tap gave you.

        • pcberdwin

          Nope, it’s not the same. Luckily I have Now Launcher and can swipe right for helpful cards. As for holding down then swiping up I get content related to the screen but I can’t do the screenshot thing anymore or select text which I thought was a really valuable tool.

          • Benjamin Haube

            The screenshot button is there and you can do selected text. I JUST did it on my pixel.

          • pcberdwin

            Hmm.. I have Samsung Galaxy S5. I can share a screenshot but there are no options for selecting text. I wonder if they aren’t implementing all the features on phones that aren’t Pixel so they can focus on the feedback of main features first.

          • Benjamin Haube

            Interesting. That is definitely possible. I just figured when they said they were rolling out Assistant to everyone that they meant the whole thing. Then again it’s Google we’re talking about. They do a bunch of strange things with seemingly no reason at all lol.

            Here’s a screenshot of Assistant with selected text.

          • pcberdwin

            I see.. so, when did you select that text? It used to be on my device with Now On Tap that I hold down home button and there was an icon of a hand pointing that allowed me to touch text from a screenshot that was then being read and detected as text, kind of like with the text recognition Translate uses. I could select that text and it’d give me options.

          • Pradyun

            try highlighting text(use an app called universal copy if necessary) and then hold the home button

          • mRWnzj

            Try opening a screen with lots of text or even take a photo of a text book. Open the photo and bring up google assistant, are you able to select a single word from the photo?

          • XgudwilX

            Take a pic of a stop sign, open the pic, hold down home button, and then select the text on the stop sign to copy and translate. You can’t.

          • XgudwilX

            YES. Being in real estate, selecting & copying text is something I’ve used daily. + it’s just a super useful tool to have available at all times. That and the ability to do an image search from a photo. That’s gone too. That means, no more taking a picture of a leaf or leaves, hold down “search Google for this image” and find out what you’re wiping your ass with.

  • Reece D

    Fuck Google assistant. It’s useless.

    • Player Slayer

      Your comment is useless.

  • Player Slayer

    Or you could just press and hold your home button, and swipe up. Google Assistant never replaced Now on Tap, just hid it a little

    • jose topez

      Not really. Can’t select any text with Google assistant even swiping up. Also Google assistant only seems to work with Google apps, for example when asking assistant to play music it will always open Google play music never your phones stock music app. Google now on tap did this fine. I haven’t found any pros with assistant, just cons. Why do I need my phone to tell lame jokes?

      • George Okenyehike

        Exactly my issues with Assistant. Can’t select text. Something I do daily. Not sure I like this AI thing

    • a22matic

      Swipe up doesn’t work for me either. They need to add the option to type text. For now, I just use the Google icon. Its one extra step sometimes, but that’s all I have to work with now.

      • Ruben Fugate

        Yeah… I don’t like how much they took away. I used manual text select daily and full screen translate… and now I have to take full on screen shots back out of everything open Google translate… so many more steps. :(

  • Travis Graham

    Not a fan thusfar. I found it very convenient to be able to bring up the Google search bar from any screen. And I can’t always talk to my phone.

    Maybe if they just added the search bar back on top everyone would be happy.

  • Richard Footitt

    There is no need to hack your phone to see Google Now. There are two ways to easily get Google now to appear: You can add the Google Now launcher from the Play Store, or you can simply open the Google App from your app drawer. Good ole Google Now with all its familiar cards will appear.

  • Thomas Page-Phillips

    It should be option to choose either Google now on tap or Google assistant as your preference, instead of replacing it! How ignorance. Huge disappointment for me and most deaf people.

  • Guido

    Or you just go to Google Assistant settings and disable it. You will be able to enable it whenever you want. As easy as it sounds.

    • Nope, disabling it won’t get you back Now on Tap.

  • Iowa_Hawkeyes

    I wanted the my news cards back. I was able to fix it. Get the best of both worlds using the Nova launcher. I set a gesture to open “Now On Tap” and the long press of the home button still opens Assistant. Nova also has the persistent search bar that looks like the Pixel phones search button. If you set that up, the “G” icon once tapped, will open Google Now.

    • stndspec

      Did the exact same thing with Nova. Swipe up now pulls up Now, long pressing the home button calls Assistant. I also have the Google News/Weather widget on my home screen and tapping that lets me enter text for a search without wasting screen real estate with a ‘G’ icon. Keeps it functional space. Loving Assistant but a straight search with typing interface is still very needed for now.

      • Bigmouth

        Me three.

  • someguy

    Give us back the ability to select text from photos

    • XgudwilX

      yeah thats all i need.. Google now is still easy to access..I just want my ability to copy text back. Did you notice the image search feature is gone too…no more reverse image search from now on tap either. Strange, cuz Google Now commands are all the same as Assistant.. it’s like I got all pumped for a downgrade! Good thing I didnt spend $800 on a Pixel!

  • Kunal T

    I haven’t got Assistant yet, but I use now on tap a lot. Easy to share the current screen without having to take screenshots manually with the power button, selecting text from images, on the go definitions of words. What’s not to like with Now on Tap?

    • Benjamin Haube

      It works exactly the same with Assistant. You hold the home button to get Assistant, swipe up, and there is Now On Tap. It’s aslo still got the “share a screenshot” button too.

      • Wenzel Jay

        Why do you keep on saying that on almost every comment that explains the text selection capability in Now on Tap isn’t available on the Assistant. It is not the same and we miss that feature and we wish Google will implement that on Assistany as well.

        • Benjamin Haube

          It IS implemented with Assistant. I just selected text and tried it to confirm. it worked perfectly on my Pixel.

          • mRWnzj

            I was talking about long pressing the home button, seeing cards related to the screen, and then if you want a specifix word to search on the screen, you just tap on that while you’re still on the Now on tap. Try googling “Google now on tap text selection” and go to the result that shows the google blog. You’ll see a gif there on how it works.

    • XgudwilX

      Kunal, trust me, it’s no upgrade. A few useless games but that’s it. Im now wishing it didnt hit my phone…oh well, itll prob get ironed out but by then theyll prob release a new gimmick with a new name like “Google Assistant on Tap Right Now”!!

  • Drew5150

    Yeah there is nowhere to select region. Turning assistant off doesnt .help. too manyoads u ads s on this

  • Benjamin Haube

    I don’t understand the point of the article. You can use Assistant in the same manner as Now on Tap. When you hold the home button to bring up Assistant, just swipe up to view the Now On Tap cards.

    • Ej Gmore

      As has been stated numerous times already by many different people, its not the same. I’m glad it’s working for you but swiping up doesn’t provide the option to grab text like before, nor do the regular Now on Tap cards show up. If you listen as much as you talk, you’d be able to take in new information and understand the point of the article.

  • John Quincy Adams

    There are always things, that don’t matter, to whine about….sheez.

  • Nicholas Stanishefski

    well that didn’t work. now I’m stuck with the wannabe siri chewing up my battery

  • XgudwilX

    Not the same. Swiping up just brings up some cards with repetitive Google Search info, “share screenshot”, & “send feedback”. Touch to copy text from any screen with the finger pointing like this👆🏿is GONE. Also no more reverse image search. Ya just cant do it pal.

  • Nick

    I have a Nexus 5X and I live in Greece. I had the latest version of Google app and Google services. I also have the phone’s language to English US. I joined the beta program of Google app and services and nothing happened. I also joined into Android beta program and installed the 7.1.2. And again nothing. Since I ‘ve played enough with my phone I decided to factory reset it. And boom. Now I’m in 7.1.1 and none of the betas with phone’s​ language into ENG US and Google Assistant. I thing this is the only way to force a phone into Google Assistant. The other way is just wait.

  • PromethianKnight

    pffft I don’t even have Now On Tap #Lollipop #ThanksSamsung xD