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February 9, 2018

Google Assistant is coming soon to Chromebooks that aren’t the Pixelbook

by John_A

Google Assistant’s exclusive days on the Pixelbook will soon be over.

The Pixelbook is Google’s best Chromebook to-date, and while there’s a lot about the Pixelbook that makes it such a joy to use, one of its highlight features is the addition of Google Assistant. The Pixelbook was the first Chrome OS device to ship with the Assistant, and at the time of writing this article, is still the only way to experience it on the platform.

Pixelbook-Assistant-button_0.jpg?itok=bW

However, according to new commits that were recently discovered in the Chromium Gerrit, it looks like other manufacturers will soon be able to easily add the Google Assistant to other Chromebooks.

The Assistant can be prompted through a voice command or button press.

The two commits that provide the most proof of this include “[adding] Google Assistant settings to the settings UI” and “[launching] an Intent when the ‘Google Assistant Settings’ is tapped.” Any manufacturer that doesn’t want to add the Google Assistant can simply ignore the new feature, but if they do choose to add it, options are given for choosing whether or not the Assistant responds when it hears the iconic “Ok, Google” hot word.

Additionally, there are settings in the Gerrit indicating that it’ll be easy for OEMs to have the Assistant launch following the press of a button. In other words, we’ll likely see Chromebooks this year that have a physical Google Assistant button like there is on the Pixelbook’s keyboard.

There’s no specific timeframe in place as to when the Assistant will be released for other Chromebooks, but even so, this is exciting news for Chrome OS fans that aren’t willing to throw down $1000+ for the Pixelbook.

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