Google unveiled its brand new Assistant back at I/O earlier this year, but the feature was “fully” launched recently alongside the Pixel phones. Right now, if you want to try out the intelligent assistant on other devices, you need to use the Allo app. But clever tinkerers have found a way to bring Google Assistant to almost any Android 7.0 device – though it comes with many side effects.
Ever since the company announced that some software would be exclusive to Pixel devices, at least for now, it was clear that enthusiasts would find a way to bring the features to older Android devices. And that’s exactly what the folks over at XDA did, with both the Pixel launcher and now Google Assistant.
According to members of the community, the methods outlined here, can get Google Assistant running on devices with Android 7.0 Nougat or Android 7.1. There are a couple of methods available to install the app, one involving root access and altering some identifiers, and the second involving flashing the zipped files directly to your device. Based on feedback, it looks like the second method works more consistently than the first one. Members claim they got the Assistant working on Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, OnePlus One, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Moto G 13, Moto G 15, all with different ROMs. There’s even indication it might work on Android Marshmallow.
That being said it doesn’t look like the trouble of getting it to work is worth it. For one thing, many users are saying it only works decently, not great. But even more importantly, there are a number of known issues, such as the “Ok Google” voice command no longer working on non-Nexus devices, phone reboots, camera crashes and so on.
In other words, if you’re really itching to try out Google Assistant this is a viable way to do it, but you’ll likely want to perform this experiment on a secondary device.
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