Google Assistant comes to tablets and Android Lollipop smartphones

Google Assistant, the aptly named personal assistant found on Android devices (as well as the iPhone but hey, that’s the least of our concerns, really), has been available to most users for over 9 months now. However, the assistant, known mostly for its ability to provide on-the-fly information and not necessarily its wit as is the case with Apple’s Siri, has been limited as far as its availability goes. Google Assistant has only been available on smartphones. And not just any other smartphones. Just those that are running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later (Nougat and Oreo).

In fact, as it to rub salt into the injury, Assistant has in the last few months shown up in headsets like the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, which officially went on sale in Kenya last week, smartwatches running Android Wear as well as smart speakers.

Now, for the 26% of Android device users (according to the latest platform distribution figures from Google) who are stuck on Android 5, and those who have tablets, things are about to change. Google has started rolling out Assistant to smartphones running Android Lollipop as well as Android tablets on Marshmallow and later versions.

Google Assistant on tablets will be available to US users first while on Lollipop-running smartphones it is already rolling out in the US, Canada, the UK, India, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Korea. Notice that there is no mention of any African country, right? Well, it’s Google, we won’t really act shocked. However, as was the case with the update to Android Marshmallow and later devices earlier in the year, users in Kenya should set their language to English (US) and cross their fingers.

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Emmanuel Chenze

Let's just say I know my stuff. I have 7 years experience handling, tinkering with and then writing extensively about Android stuff. Sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is not; things can get stale with nothing new to show but I live for each one of those moments. Have something Android-related that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze@androidkenya.com