Traditionally, the Google Assistant always lived under the home button on Android phones, but last year Google worked with LG to launch a dedicated button for Google Assistant on on G7 and V40 devices to help people get things done on the go—whether it’s staying on top of your day or finding directions with voice. As it turns out, sometime you don’t want to blurt out “Hey Google” in a crowd, when a simple button press will do. A dedicated Google Assistant button gives users immediate access to the most widely-used digital assistant on smartphones, So at MWC 2019, Google is working to bring the Assistant button to more phones from LG, Nokia, Xiaomi, TCL, and Vivo.
And almost all of the phones unveiled on the MWC floor have a dedicated Google Assistant button.
We’ve already seen smartphone manufacturers add dedicated hardware buttons that launch voice assistants. This year, they’re bringing the Google Assistant button to the full portfolio of new Android devices with LG and Nokia, including the LG G8 ThinQ and LG Q60, K50, K40 and the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2. New phones from Xiaomi (including the Mi MIX 3 5G and Mi 9), TCL(read: Alcatel, Palm, and BlackBerry) and Vivo (including the V15 Pro) will also launch with the Google Assistant button later this year. As it turns out, the adoption of dedicated Google Assistant buttons can be attributed to Google’s efforts to push Google Assistant, and the button is coming to more devices. With these partnerships, Google expects over 100 million devices to launch with a dedicated Google Assistant button in 2019, with its own Pixel devices leveraging Active Edge in a similar manner.
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The button on these phones does more than just summon Google Assistant with a tap. With a dedicated button, Google can also build a few new features into the Android too, making it easier to bring up some Assistant features that were traditionally always a few taps away. The button has been updated to take advantage of the latest features from the past year.
- A single press opens Google Assistant panel,
- A double tap brings up the visual snapshot providing Updates and an overview of your day. That new action replaces the quick shortcut to launch Google Lens and begin a visual search.
- A long press activates a “walkie talkie” feature. Assistant will keep listening until you stop tapping, with this mode ideal for transcribing long text messages and emails.
Having a dedicated button will make it easier to discover the Assistant, and get people to use it more often, too. Maybe this means there’ll be an Assistant button on the Pixel 4 series? What do you think about dedicated Google Assistant button? Do you want your next smartphone to have one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.