The Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones to ship with built-in Google Assistant feature. For the uninitiated, Google Assistant is Google's intelligent personal assistant, which was unveiled at its annual I/O developer conference in May 2016.
Considered to be a new version of Google Now, Google Assistant is available in English and German on Pixel phones and in Google Allo messaging app. The web search giant promises to bring more language support for the Assistant.
Like any other virtual assistant, you can get answers and finish tasks using Google Assistant, like getting weather updates, finding local info, checking for flight timings and translations.
Want Google Assistant on your phone? While Google has limited the use of Google Assistant, there is a workaround through which you can get Google Assistant working on your Android device. All you need is a device running on Android 7.0 or, higher, with latest the Google app version 126.96.36.199 or newer.
If you meet these requirements, then you can get Google Assistant working on your phone. XDA forum member, brianelv, has shared methods detailing how to get Google Assistant: one via tweaking the build.prop and the other one by flashing the zip file through recovery. The member claims the feature is working on Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Pixel C, Moto G 2013 and 2015, OnePlus One, Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus and YU Yureka Plus.
Check out the following guides to enable Google Assistant on your phone. But note that IBTimes UK cannot be held liable for any damage to the device.
Add or replace the following lines on your build.prop
- ro.product.model=Pixel XL
This method is by installing the zip files via custom recovery, as you do to install custom ROM or modes.
- Download the three files from here
- Copy the downloaded files to your phone's storage
- Boot your phone in to custom recovery
- From recovery mode, first flash GoogleAssistantvelvet.zip
- Then flash GoogleAssistantBuildprop.zip
GoogleAssistantVelvet.zip will install new Google Velvet app as a system app, whereas GoogleAssistantBuildProp.zip will search for the tweak.prop file. This contains the lines for build.prop.
- If you are still having Google Now, go to Google app info and wipe the data.
- If your camera app keeps crashing, restore your build.prop and use the new method for build. Prop.
- The Ok Google voice command might not work. It works only on Nexus devices running stock firmware.