Google Assistant has moved beyond the Pixel smartphones, and if your phone is running Android 7.0 Nougat and above versions or Android Marshmallow you should have the virtual assistant on your device. But it looks like Google is restricting the Assistant to just smartphones for now. In a statement to Android Police, Google confirmed: the Assistant is not coming to tablets just yet, which is strange.
The statement reads, “The Assistant will be available on Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones with Google Play Services, this does not include tablets.” It’s not clear why Google has decided to restrict Assistant to just smartphones, but this could change later on. After all, Google Assistant was supposed to be exclusive to the Pixel smartphones, when they were first launched in October 2016, but all that has changed since then.
Google Assistant got into a bit of trouble earlier this week as well, after users of the Google Home speaker reported about an ad for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was played by the device at the end of weather updates. Google in a statement to The Verge denied the audio was an ad, but admitted it should have handled this better.
Google’s statement reads, “This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.” But then another user pointed out the ad was also playing on the Google Assistant on the Nexus 5X. For now, it looks like Google has pulled the ad.
Ad or no ad, Google Assistant is viewed as the way forward for search and interactions on smartphones. So it is strange that the AI is not coming to Android tablets, which are still used by many customers. Google Assistant will also see enhanced third-party support in 2017; Google opened up the API for this last year. It means the Assistant will soon lets users book an Uber or order food from a restaurant via a supporting app.