Google Assistant

  • In the latest Canary build of Chrome OS, a new flag appears: “Enable Google Assistant.”
  • Although we can’t say for certain yet, it appears Assistant is coming to pretty much every Chromebook.
  • Assistant could be enabled in the next version of Chrome OS, but it could be an update after that.


If you’re lucky enough to own the Google Pixelbook or the Google Pixel Slate, you have access to Google Assistant right from the status bar of Chrome OS. The rest of us Chromebook owners don’t have the ability to access Assistant at all, unfortunately.

However, that could be changing in a big way. According to XDA Developers, the latest Canary build of Chrome OS features a new flag called “Enable Google Assistant.” The description of the flag is, “enable an experimental Assistant implementation that will work on all Chromebooks.”

The description leaves very little to the imagination, doesn’t it?

Keep in mind though, this is an “experimental” feature which only appears in a Canary build of Chrome OS. Canary builds are one step more unstable than even beta builds, and some features get tested in the Canary phase which never see the light of day. With that in mind, it’s not a sure bet that Google Assistant is coming to all Chromebooks.

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However, Google has repeatedly said it is now an “AI first” company and Google Assistant is appearing in pretty much everything it does nowadays. As such, it makes perfect sense that the company would want all Chromebooks (or as many as humanly possible) to have easy access to Assistant.

Previously, we wrote about how Android 9 Pie is coming to Chromebooks, which was also discovered in a Canary build of Chrome OS. This just makes it even more likely that Google is bringing Assistant to more Chromebooks along with an upgrade to Android 9 Pie.

The big question, of course, is when. It’s possible the next version of Chrome OS — slated to land in December as Chrome OS 71 — could have either this Assistant flag, Pie, or both. However, it’s more likely Chrome OS 72 will have one or both of the features, which lands in early 2019.

NEXT: Chrome OS is skipping Oreo, going straight to Android 9 Pie