Google Assistant, the search giant’s voice-assistant powered by Artificial intelligence and machine learning, is now rolling out to Android tablets and Android phones running Android Lollipop 5.0 versions. Google Assistant is already available on all phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow and of course, Android Oreo. On tablets, Assistant will be limited to Nougat and Marshmallow OS versions for now.
Google rolling out Assistant to more devices is not surprising. The fragmented Android universe means that a majority of users are still on Android Lollipop and it makes logical sense to bring Assistant to these devices. In fact going by Google’s latest numbers for Android division, Lollipop is at 26.3 percentage points in terms of market share, which is not a small number. This includes version 5.0 and 5.1 in total. Coming to Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) this did see an increase and now stands at 23.3 percent of the market, while Android 6.0 Marshmallow still has 29.7 per cent market share.
Google Assistant is supposed to let users carry out a variety of tasks, including the ability to set reminders, create a shopping list, give alerts on maps, ask about the weather, etc. Google Assistant can also search for photos in the Google Photos apps and can understand natural language as well. For instance, a user can ask Google Assistant to open “vacation pictures from July” and it will show the relevant results.
Google Assistant also powers the Google Home speakers and can control smart devices like plugs and lights, though users in India will need to find compatible devices for the same. The Assistant on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones now supports Google Lens as well, which can identify objects, landmarks straight from the camera.
Google Assistant on Android 5.0 Lollipop has started to roll out in to users with the language set to English in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada and Singapore, as well as in Spanish in the US, Mexico and Spain. Google is also rolling out to the Assistant to users in Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Korea. In India, Google had announced the Assistant for the JioPhone as well, which is a feature phone.