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Google Assistant might be coming to Chrome OS

Google Assistant for Chromebooks further blurs the line between Chrome OS and Android.

Published onFebruary 8, 2018

  • A new commit lays the foundation for native Google Assistant integration for Chrome OS.
  • There is no word on when Chromebooks will receive Assistant support.
  • Assistant for Chromebooks further blurs the line between Chrome OS and Android.

Native Google Assistant integration will soon head to Chrome OS and Chromebooks other than the Pixelbook. This latest news comes from XDA Developers, which found a merged commit in the Chromium Gerrit project that lays the groundwork for a future update.

With this update, Assistant will be disabled by default. When enabled, there will be an additional setting that will allow or prevent Chromebooks from listening for the “OK Google” or “Hey, Google” hotword. Manufacturers will even be able to confine Assistant to a button press. On the Pixelbook, you can either press the Assistant key on the bottom left or use your voice to bring up the virtual assistant.

Google hinted at Assistant support for Chromebooks in October 2017, when the Google Home app included Chromebooks in the compatibility section for Chat with your Assistant.

Assistant integration would further blur the lines between Chrome OS and Android. The general feeling is that Google wants to groom Chrome OS to be the future of large-screen computing.

Chrome OS’ touchscreen enhancements, support for Play Store apps, and inline notification replies certainly lend to that feeling. The specter of Fuchsia OS looms large, however, as the mysterious platform was up and running on a Pixelbook a few weeks ago.

Chrome OS 64 update adds tablet mode screenshots, Android app improvements
The Chrome OS logo.

There is no indication that Fuchsia OS will succeed Chrome OS and Android. But wee cannot ignore that possibility, seeing how the new OS supports smartphone and laptop display formats. For now, Assistant on Chrome OS helps the platform be more relevant on large-screen devices and eventually push Android to the side.

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