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Google Assistant enabled on some non-Pixel phones with new alpha Google app

Some users of the new alpha Google app are reporting that it enables Google Assistant on non-Pixel phones.
February 11, 2017

OK, so this probably isn’t something you’re going to want to try because alpha release apps are generally awfully buggy (as this one is), but some folks getting the latest alpha of the Google app are reporting that it enables Google Assistant on non-Pixel phones.

Android Police reported the feature, but noted that the alpha app’s release in the beta channel was likely a mistake. So there’s no guarantee Assistant will be coming to all phones anytime soon, even if it does seem likely.

Google Assistant can be enabled with Open GApps installation

Not everyone is getting Google Assistant enabled either and there doesn’t seem to be any obvious rhyme or reason as to what makes it work for some and not for others. As mentioned above, this is not a very stable release, but if you absolutely have to try it, you can get the APK from the source link below.

Once installed, simply long press the home button as you normally would for Google Now and see if the notification at the top of this post pops up. If you experience weird behavior, tapping the search bar and then backing out of it seems to clear up most of the problems until the next reboot.

The new Google app also has support for payments and delivery information for use with Google Assistant, a recent searches page and lite mode, both of which can be disabled in your account settings. There’s also evidence in the code for an advanced offline search that will also download the first few page results when you regain connectivity (in case you lose network access again shortly thereafter) and upcoming keyboard input for Google Assistant.

There’s a lot more detail in the APK teardown, so visit the link below if you want to delve more into possible updates to a future version of the Google app.

Have you got Google Assistant working?