Google Assistant is Google’s latest and greatest digital helper, and it brings a number of exciting features to the table as it looks to compete against Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
With Google Assistant, you can perform tasks like control your smart home devices, set Calendar events, ask questions to be searched online, and much more, all without ever having to use a phone’s keyboard or other physical input.
Assistant was first announced at Google IO 2016, and now a year later we’re expecting to hear even bigger and better features are on the way soon.
What’s more, rumblings point to Google expanding Assistant well beyond the devices that currently support it. This news is likely to come during this week’s Google IO 2017 conference.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, which devices currently support Google Assistant? We’ve put together the following list to track the phones and devices with Assistant, and which ones are due to receive it soon. We’ll keep it updated as more gadgets with Assistant are announced.
Google Assistant on phones
Since then, Assistant has expanded to a number of different phones, and Google has slowly but surely brought Assistant to dozens of handsets with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.
So, what can Assistant do on your phone? Your smartphone is likely the center of your digital life, and as such Assistant is most useful on it. You can perform functions such as schedule Calendar events, ask Assistant to navigate to the nearest mall, control smart home devices, and play music, all just by using your voice.
There haven’t been a ton of phones that feature Google Assistant out-of-the-box, but there certainly are a few, and that list continues to grow every time we see a new flagship Android device.
While all the phones with Google Assistant are too many to list, here are the flagship handsets that currently support Assistant:
Google Assistant on smartwatches
Google Assistant is rolling out to smartwatches via Android Wear 2.0, which has arrived on a number of smartwatches over the past few months.
Through Android Wear 2.0, Google Assistant is a somewhat stripped-down version of the Assistant you’ll find on a phone. You can still schedule Calendar events, send text messages, and set timers. It’s a fairly useful feature, if you get in the habit of using it regularly. Bonus: Assistant on your smartwatch will prevent you from pulling your phone out of your pocket every two minutes.
Not many smartwatches have launched with Android Wear 2.0 out-of-the-box, but there are a few. Most people with Android Wear 2.0 will have gotten an update from the original Android Wear. Watches that have received the update include the likes of the Huawei Watch, many of Fossil’s watches, and so on.
Here are the watches that come running Android Wear 2.0:
Google Assistant on smart home devices
The goal of Google Assistant is to help power our digital lives, and as such it’s vital that it features heavily in smart home devices.
To date, however, only one smart home device has launched with Google Assistant, and that’s Google Home. Home was first launched as Google’s answer to the widely-praised Amazon Echo, and while it’s not as well-reviewed as the Echo, Home is still a great option for those that want to stay withing Google’s ecosystem.
Google Home is a smart speaker with Assistant built right in, and you can use your voice to control many different aspects of your digital life. Using Google Home, can ask questions to be searched, control other smart home devices, and even play music. Not only that, but new features are added to the device all the time, such as multiple user support.
Google Assistant on Android TV
Android TV is also set to get Google Assistant, but unfortunately the roll out has been slower than some might have liked.
Google has confirmed Assistant is coming to Android TV, and Sony announced earlier this year its Bravia line of 4K Android-powered TVs are due to get Assistant.
On Android TV, you’ll get many of Assistant’s same features, but the emphasis is a bit more heavily placed on content consumption. You’ll be able to ask Assistant, for example, to perform tasks like search for a show on Google Play, play music, or control many of your connected smart home devices (naturally).
Unfortunately, the Sony TVs don’t have Assistant out-of-the-box; instead, it will come in the form of a software update, which will be rolled out “later this year.” We’ll have to wait and see just when exactly that is.
Google Assistant on cars
Google announced in mid-May a partnership with Volvo and Audi to develop a new Android in-car infotainment system with Google Assistant built-in.
The system is under development, and won’t launch in new Volvo models for at least two years, so we can’t know for sure how Assistant will work, or how well. So far, it sounds like a standout feature will be the ability to query Assistant without needing your phone.
Google will want to improve Assistant’s voice features for use in the car, enabling it to read text messages and emails, ensuring you never have to take your eyes off the road. Beyond that, however, Assistant’s in-car features remain to be seen.
Google Assistant is off to a great start, and it’s just now beginning to move out of its infancy. It’s an excellent way to control your Google-centric life and smart home devices, and hopefully we’ll see it arrive in even more devices in the not-so-distant future.
By Christian de Looper
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