Google has begun rolling out its Google Assistant feature for Android to devices running pure versions of Nougat and Marshmallow, starting this week with English speakers in the US. English speakers residing in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and German speakers in Germany will follow. More languages and geographies will be added over the course of the year.
The personal assistant helps users keep their lives in check with a single starter command – OK, Google – enabling them to find the answer to many questions they’ve always sought the answer to, take a photo, get directions, ask for the translation of a phrase, check the weather or operate all of their smart devices with their voice. Once the roll-out is complete, it will be available on around 32% of Android devices.
The conversational search and AI-based Google Assistant gets more intelligent the more it’s used, ensuring the results that are returned are always what the user is looking for. In terms of language offerings, only English and German are currently supported, but it will be getting a wider range of supported languages over the next year, Google Assist’s product lead, Gummi Hafsteinsson, said in a blog post.
“Our goal is to make the Assistant available anywhere you need it,” Hafsteinsson said. “It came to Android Wear 2.0 – via new smartwatches – just a few weeks ago and, as we previewed in January, the Assistant is also coming to TVs and cars. With this update, hundreds of millions of Android users will now be able to try out the Google Assistant.”
Android Marshmallow is currently running on just under 31% of Android smartphones, while Nougat is installed on 1.2%, although it’s likely Nougat will be launching on more devices very soon, with Mobile World Congress kicking off this week in Barcelona.