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    February 27, 2017

    Google announces Assistant is heading to Android smartphones running Nougat and Marshmallow

    google assistant

    Google has announced that Google Assistant will soon be heading to Android phones running either Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat.

    If there was one major announcement we were left concurrently excited and depressed about in 2016, it was that Google Assistant would be locked to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL for the foreseeable future, meaning that we wouldn’t be able to access the feature in South Africa.

    That could change in the near future, as Google has announced that Assistant will begin rolling out to general phones running either Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat as soon as this week.

    Read: Google accidentally releases Google Assistant on several non-Pixel phones

    While the LG G6 is the first general consumer handset to feature Google Assistant right off the bat, Google has confirmed that the feature will soon arrive on the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG V20, and HTC 10. The former is interesting, given that Samsung is rumoured to be working on its own AI, dubbed Bixby or Kestra.

    While it is unclear as to how the update will be delivered, Google has offered that “Assistant will automatically come to eligible Android phones running Nougat and Marshmallow with Google Play Services” – leaving us to speculate that the AI will arrive as part of a core update. It is unclear, at this juncture, as to whether carrier authorization will play a role in the wider release of the feature.

    A full list of handsets that will support the feature is presently unavailable, though Google has confirmed that smartphones from popular brands such as HTC, Huawei, Samsung and Sony will soon benefit from the feature. It is further unconfirmed if we’ll be able to access the feature from South Africa without tweaking location or language settings.

    Read: Apple is set to join Microsoft, Google and more in a Partnership on AI

    What are your thoughts? Are you excited to get your hands on Google Assistant? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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