Announced at yesterday’s I/O keynote, support for typing in Google Assistant is beginning to rollout to some users, with a new keyboard icon appearing in the bottom left corner. Additionally, Actions on Google with new Explore and Your Stuff tabs are rolling out.
When you opt to use text input for Assistant, a standard keyboard will pop-up with a “Type a message” field just above it. At the very right is a microphone icon if you want to revert back to using your voice to issue commands to Assistant. When text is entered, that icon switches to a send button.
As a result of the keyboard, the Assistant interface is very slightly tweaked with the four colored Google dots now somewhat smaller. Also, there is now an arrow just above the panel that reminds users Assistant can be expanded to take up the entire screen.
Update: Expanding Assistant will now show a history of previous commands and questions that you’ve asked Google. Long pressing on one will give users the ability to “Edit the query” which just repastes the command — even if it was given via voice — into the text field. Additionally, users can delete what Google calls a group, which includes the command and response, from your search history.
Meanwhile, the Google help page has been updated to reference the keyboard and the ability to set it as the default input method in Settings.
Explore and ‘Your Stuff’ is accessible via a new icon in the top right corner of the Assistant panel. The first tab is a more visual tutorial for Assistant that showcases third-party Actions on Google, while the next tab provides a list of what Assistant can do.
Even if the Assistant Directory is not yet available on your device, users can manually run Actions right now by asking: Talk to Google I/O 17, eBay, or whatever other compatible apps.
The Google Assistant is available on Android devices running Marshmallow and above.
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