Google to bring Google Assistant to older Android phones?

Google’s latest attempt to crack the smartphone market, the Google Pixel, arrived alongside a new AI assistant, suitably named Google Assistant.

At the time, the company decided not to reveal too much about bringing the feature to other Android phones, leaving us in the dark about the assistant’s future.

Google Assistant is currently only available on the Pixel and the Pixel XL, but recently we’ve been hearing more about the feature coming to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, with some rumours suggesting LG will utilise Google’s assistant for the upcoming LG G6.

Related: MWC 2017

But now, code in a new alpha release of the Google app for Android suggests the assistant could make its way to older Android phones in the near future.

As AndroidPolice reports, the code basically would allow Google Assistant to be added to any phone, which bodes well for a larger rollout.

pixel 19The Google Pixel

It looks like the alpha release was launched by mistake, and those who have installed the latest version are reporting the usual bugs and problems that come with such an early release.

In other words, we’re far from an official announcement, let alone launch, for the Google Assistant on older devices.

That said, some users are reporting they have been able to get the Google Assistant welcome screen to appear on their older devices using the same long press on the home button that was used for Google Now and the assistant on the Pixel.

The welcome screen doesn’t seem to work on all devices consistently, however. But with this being an alpha release, that’s to be expected at this stage.

MWC is due to take place at the end of this month, so we could hear more about a larger assistant rollout then, though it’s more likely Google will release more information at Google I/O, which gets underway on May 17. Stay tuned for more.

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