OK Google, when will my phone get Google Assistant?

Google Assistant Google Pixel
Credit: Jason Cross

OK Google, when is Assistant coming to my phone?

For many Android users, very soon. Google will start rolling out its virtual assistant as early as this week for some people -- but the update isn't coming to everyone. So will you be one of the lucky ones?

In IT Blogwatch, we ask Google for the answers.  

So what is going on? Kellex has some background:

Starting this week, Google is bringing Google Assistant to all Android phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow...it [will] arrive automatically on your phone through the latest Google Play Services update. The rollout may take some time, but many of you are about to gain access to Google Assistant very soon.

Great! Remind us exactly what Google Assistant is again? Aloysius Low has the details:

Google Assistant lets you talk to your phone in a conversational way, providing answers to questions about the weather, flight information and appointments. The assistant can even control your smart home...Besides smartphones, Assistant is already available on the Google Home smart speaker, Android Wear 2.0 devices, and will soon come to TVs and cars.

And will Assistant come to everyone at once? Adam Westlake is in the know:

The voice-powered Google Assistant...rollout will begin with English users in the U.S., followed by English users in Australia, Canada and the UK, and then...German speakers in Germany. More languages will be supported throughout the year.

And how will those of us who haven't used Assistant before know how to access it? Michael Simon fills us in:

Users will...summon Assistant by saying “OK Google” or long-pressing on the home button. While Assistant’s capabilities vary depending on...device or app...it appears...the full Pixel version will be used here, letting you tap into Maps and Calendar, receive weather reports, and control smart devices, among numerous other commands.

But wasn't Assistant already going to be coming to other Android devices soon? And is this rollout a strategic move on Google's part? Carl Velasco has that info:

Google's decision follows LG's announcement that the just-unveiled G6 will be the first non-Pixel phone to have Assistant built in...that's an incentive it can't trumpet anymore once Assistant releases to other...devices.
...
Google's move is wise, if a little late. Tech companies are beginning to experiment with their own virtual assistants. With millions of...phones running Marshmallow and Nougat...Google's own virtual assistant gains ubiquity in the race for proprietary voice-enabled companions.

So how do users feel about this? Ole I. Christensen thinks Google deserves some love:

Ok Google -- give yourself a big hug!
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