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Google finally gives more Android phones their own Assistant


Google is rolling out its personal AI Google Assistant to users with phones running older versions of its Android OS, finally giving more people the voice-controlled smart features that are becoming a hallmark of the platform.

Google I/O 2018: 5 things we're likely to see (and 5 things we really want)


Google I/O 2018 kicks off May 8, and we can't wait to hear what's cooking for developers and fans. We'll obviously get a whole lot of info about the next version of Android, but no doubt AI, AR, Assistant, and other Google products will have their moment as well. Here's everything we expect to see, plus a few things we're wishing hard for: Google has already released a developer's preview of Android P, but the company's likely holding back some features for the big show. Most notably, Google accidentally outed a gesture-based navigation system that could debut this week (unless it's being saved for the Pixel 3). Otherwise, we'll likely see some demos of the biggest features, such as camera cutout support and indoor location tracking, as well as what's new in the Android One and Android Go projects.

Google launches Assistant on Android tablets, more phones


Google on Wednesday announced Google Assistant is now available for Android tablets running Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow. Assistant was previously only available on some Android phones, Android Wear, Google Home, and an iOS app.

Google app beta hints at Assistant text input, search gestures


Google is prepping a new version of its Google app for Android users, and while it can hardly be classified as major, Android Police has discovered a few interesting tidbits hidden in the beta that could bring changes to the way we search and interact with Google Assistant. Google Assistant acts a little differently on whatever app you happen to be using it on, but it seems Google is working to streamline things a little. Android Police also found some more references to Google Assistant for Android Wear, further confirming that Google is hard at work to bring its digital helper to the next version of the wearable OS. Also intriguing is a reference to something called search gestures, which seems to indicate a built-in shortcut to the search bar. As Android Police explains: "Users will be able to choose a default type of search, including options for In Apps and All.

Google really, really wants you to try messaging with Allo, please


While it's not clear if anyone still uses it--a poll from Droid Life suggests maybe not--Google announced three new features for its messaging app Allo on Thursday. The app now includes GIF search, animated emoji and one-tap help from Google Assistant. Previously, users could access it by typing "@google" into the chat window. Now, there's a dedicated button for it. While this may seem like a small change, it makes using Google Assistant frictionless and easier to discover.