Google Assistant is no longer exclusive to Pixel phones

Google has finally expanded the support of the Google Assistant after months of its exclusive presence on the company’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. With the new development, the voice-based virtual assistant will now be a part of all devices running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat operating systems.

The Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. The virtual assistant was debuted on the Google Allo app back in May last year and thereafter came as a pre-installed feature on the Pixel handsets. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG also showcased the smartness of the Google Assistant on its G6 flagship.

Google is set to roll out the Google Assistant across all compatible Android smartphones starting this week. The virtual assistant will replace the previous Google Now integration and will come to all English users in the US followed by Australia, Canada and the UK.

“The Google Assistant will automatically come to eligible Android phones running Nougat and Marshmallow with Google Play Services,” said Gummi Hafsteinsson, product lead for Google Assistant, in a blog post.

You just need to long-press the Home button on your Android smartphone or say “Ok Google” hot word to begin the action with the Google Assistant. It assists you with real-time navigation and weather updates as well as gives you direct access to features available on Google Apps. Additionally, you can use Google Home devices by passing commands over the Assistant.

Going forward, Google is planning to make the Google Assistant available through Android Wear running smartwatches, Android TVs and Android Auto-powered cars. All this would unify the user experience across all Android-backed devices.