If you’ve been following Android news for the past few weeks you’ve probably encountered stories about the Pixel 2. In particular, stories regarding problems that the device, and the larger Pixel 2 XL, have experienced.

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These have occurred in various forms — a running list of which we’ve compiled here — and Google has taken a number of steps to help the situation, from extending the device warranty period to rolling out fixes over-the-air. Now, it seems that Google might have another solution to Pixel 2 problems on its way, courtesy of the Google Assistant.

It appears that Google Pixel 2 phones running the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview can take advantage of a dedicated troubleshooting wizard via the Google Assistant. By asking a specific question like “What is draining my battery?” the Google Assistant can automatically help identify problems with your device.

This was first pointed out by Android Police and we’ve since been able to use it on one of our devices too. The Assistant will run through a number of possible solutions to your problem with you, before referring you to a member of Google’s customer service team should it fail to resolve it.

It’s a neat idea and it doesn’t just apply to battery issues too; it’s something that could save people lots of time trawling through the Google Product Forums in search of fixes in future. But it’s only going to be as good as the solutions it comes up and I my gut feeling is that people who are savvy enough to think about using Google Assistant to fix their phone are probably already aware of the kinds of pointers it will offer.

But that’s just my first, cynical thought. Perhaps this will become an effective way to help people fix their Google phones, or find out if they need to return them, faster.

So far, it seems like this is functional on the Pixel 2s running the Android 8.1 developer preview only, not on the Pixel 2 XL. The Android 8.1 developer preview is just a work in progress though, so if it rolls out to the Pixel 2 in the final 8.1 build, it’s likely to be in place on the larger handset too.

What are your thoughts on the potential of this Google Assistant troubleshooter? Let us know in the comments.