Photo Credit: Image via Android Police
Last month, it was suggested Google might soon bring Google Assistant to Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones but it seems like the feature has made its way to non-Pixel devices with an alpha release of version 6.13 of the Google Search app (aka Google app) . The alpha update also brings along the ability to add payment information to Google Assistant on Pixel smartphones, improved offline search, and a Lite mode to the app.
With this alpha update - Google Assistant, which has been available with just Pixel smartphones till now - can be brought into action by holding down the home button just like it is done to launch 'Now on Tap', points out Android Police in its report. Google app's alpha update reportedly brings Google's digital assistant to Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow) and Nexus 6P (running Android 7.1.1 Nougat).
On holding down the home button, a dialogue box with message "New! You just got the Google Assistant" comes to the screen and setup process for voice training is initiated, as per the report.
Notably, not all devices that were checked received Google Assistant with this update. As per the report, "about half" of the smartphones received the feature while other half still launched 'Now on Tap' on holding down the home button.
The criteria for receiving Google Assistant feature are unclear at this point but the feature might or might not make its way to non-Pixel smartphones with future releases of the update.
Coming to the other features that come with the Google Search app v6.13 update, the search giant has added the option to add payment information to Google Assistant (on Pixel smartphones) to allow users to pay for services with the help of its digital assistant. Google has added a Lite mode (reformats web pages to simpler form and consume less data), a page of recent search topics, and improved offline search with the update.
Before you jump to installing the Google Search v6.13 via the [APK file], note that the update reportedly presents some really serious performance issues. The navigation drawer was found to be "broken" while a feed got stuck on the refreshing animation, as per the report. As the alpha version seems patchy, we will advise you to be careful before installing it.