Google Assistant is rolling out for Android devices at large (and it’s a long wait for us Indians)
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At MWC this year, Google announced that its AI-powered Google Assistant will be freed from the shackles of Pixel phones and roll out to other Android devices running Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat. This was preceded by the launch of the LG G6 which became the first non-Pixel phone followed by the Moto G5 and the Moto G5 Plus to come with the digital assistant pre-installed. Starting today, Google is rolling out Google Assistant as part of an update to Google Play Services.

The update will first roll out to users in the US, followed by those in Australia, Canada and the UK. The rest of the world will have to wait as the Assistant doesn’t support local languages other that English yet.

You need not have to download another app to get the assistant. If your device is eligible, you will automatically receive the update. A long press on the home button will then bring up the assistant instead of Google Now.

In order to be eligible, your phone ought to be running Android Marshmallow or Android Nougat and have a minimum of 1.5GB of RAM and a 720p display.

The rollout will be slow and gradual with the English speaking countries receiving the update first. Other countries, including India, will have to wait for some time to receive it. But we hope it lands up here sooner rather than later.

The Google Assistant debuted with the Google Pixel phones last year and was a runaway success amidst both critics and users. The ability to engage in contextual conversations and learning to get better at it over time has made critics pitch it against the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and even Apple’s Siri which is the oldest AI-based assistant among them all.