Google Assistant started a couple of years ago on just Allo and Google Pixel phones. Slowly, it has been added to many more devices. Almost any Android phone can use Assistant now, but Chromebooks are still lagging behind. Currently, only the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate support Google Assistant on Chrome OS. That should be changing soon as a new Chrome flag can enable it.
A new commit added a flag called “Enable Google Assistant” in the latest Canary version of Chrome OS. The description states: “enable an experimental Assistant implementation that will work on all Chromebooks.” That seems pretty conclusive. As described, this is still experimental, so it may not be a polished experience just yet. If everything goes smoothly, we could see it on the stable version of Chrome OS in a few weeks.
Google Assistant on Chrome OS is also about to get a facelift. Previously, it basically worked as a separate app, but with Android Pie it will be more integrated into the OS. We saw this on a Pixelbook just a couple of days ago. That change is also happening in the Canary channel, so it’s possible these things will roll out to stable at the same time.
After you enable the Chrome flag, you can navigate to chrome://assistant-optin (if a notification doesn’t prompt you first) and you will be guided through the process. Once completed, you will have an Assistant icon in the launcher. You can use the keyboard shortcut Search key+A to launch Assistant. (via Chrome Unboxed)
Will you use Google Assistant on your Chromebook? Is Assistant a handy thing to have on a laptop?
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