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Google Assistant testing compact interface, likely to be used w/ next generation Assistant

One of the most exciting reveals of Google I/O was the “next generation Assistant” which answered queries instantly and back-to-back. Now, it appears Google is getting ready to lay the groundwork for that Assistant with a new compact interface which is being tested with some users.

Triggered by a server-side change, some users are seeing this much shorter version of Google Assistant on their devices. The new UI is about half as tall as the previous version, and removes a lot of the empty space from the former UI. There’s also a profile picture pulled from your Google account in the top right corner of the UI.

All functionality is retained, though, with buttons for Lens, updates, “Explore,” and the keyboard too. The contextual actions are also listed in the center of this more compact Google Assistant interface. Notably, the height is pretty similar to the transparent design for Assistant that Google previously tested, but never widely rolled out.

More importantly, there’s also a more compact interface for the answers that Google Assistant gives. This means that the answer no longer takes up the entire display, instead forming an overlay that only takes as much space on screen as it needs. The speech bubbles have also disappeared.

Google Assistant tests a more compact interface

Android Police points out that this aspect in particular is identical to what we saw with the “next generation Assistant” back at I/O, as shown in this video. Presumably, Google is testing this change out ahead of that project’s launch on the Pixel 4 later this year.

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