We got our first glimpse of the Google Assistant back at Google I/O last year, and then a working version of it shipped with the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. At the moment the Pixel was announced, Google did say that the Assistant would be a Pixel exclusive, although you could leverage the power of the AI behind the Google Assistant through Allo. At MWC 2017, Google announced that they will start rolling the Assistant out devices running on Android 6.0 and above.
Today, Google has announced that they will start rolling the feature out to users starting this week. Google says the Assistant will start rolling this week to Marshmallow and Nougat devices for English users in the US followed by Australia, Canada, and the UK, plus German speakers in Germany. More languages will be added later, but there isn’t any word on which languages will be added and in what order. Earlier last year at the Google for India event we got to see first hand Allo’s ability to pick up commands in Hindi, with Google promising to bring more local languages to the app in the coming months.
— Google (@Google) March 2, 2017
Google has always had a special focus on India, which is evident from the plenty of localized content we are getting from the Company. Allo was launched originally with just support for English, however, by the end of the year, Hindi was added to its repertoire, as a second language. While we understand how eager everyone may be to get the Google Assistant on their Android smartphones, it is entirely possible that India will get device wide access to the Google Assistant with localized language support. Even if that isn’t the case, a staggered release makes sense as Google may want to ensure their backend can handle the load of queries coming from a significantly larger number of devices.
In case you’re wondering what the Google Assistant does, it is essentially a smart replacement for Google search on your phone, combined with a voice assistant. Google leverages the data it collects from your device and associated Google services to power the Assistant’s suggestions, which continues to learn over time.