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Google Assistant finally headed to tablets and more smartphones
From syncing your smart home gadgets and helping you find a plumber or electrician to supporting more languages, Google Assistant has only gotten more useful over time. One glaring omission, however, was support for Android tablets, something Google finally rectified today.
We’re not completely blindsided by the news — back in November, a beta version of the Google app referenced Assistant support for Android tablets — but it’s nice to finally hear it from El Goog itself. According to the company through its official blog, Assistant will be just as powerful as it is on smartphones, with features like setting reminders, adding items to your shopping list, and controlling your smart devices all accounted for.
In an interesting bonus, Google also announced that Assistant will make its way to smartphones running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Previously, Assistant was only supported on phones that run, at the oldest, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Roughly 26 percent of Android devices run Lollipop, and given Google’s penchant to want Assistant in as many devices as possible, such a move is not entirely unprecedented.
Whether Assistant will be useful on tablets is another story. I’m not ignoring the fact that Samsung, HUAWEI, and Lenovo continue to push out Android tablets, but the Android tablet market in general seems to be in an awkward position, seeing how Chromebooks have come as close as ever before to usurping Android tablets.
Either way, this will come as welcome news for Android tablet owners that have waited for over a year to see whether Assistant will make it to their devices, though the roll-out strategy is something to keep in mind.
Assistant will roll out to tablets running Marshmallow and Nougat in the coming weeks, with the language set to English in the US. Assistant on Lollipop, meanwhile, started to roll out to folks with the language set to English in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, and Singapore, as well as in Spanish in the US, Mexico, and Spain. It is also rolling out to folks in Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil, and Korea.