Google Assistant first debuted on the Pixelbook in 2017 and later came to the Pixel Slate last year. The smart assistant is now coming to non-Made by Google Chromebooks starting today.
While Pixel Chrome OS devices have a dedicated “Assistant” button, other Chromebooks can access it by holding the “Search” and “a” key. “Hey Google” hotword detection can also be enabled with a full-width panel sliding up.
Visually, Assistant is integrated into devices and Google Search with a blurred background. Assistant on Chromebooks supports both text input via the physical or virtual keyboard, and voice commands, just like a smart speaker.
Google touts a mix of productivity, entertainment, and smart home control use cases, with all featuring visual feedback in addition to verbal responses. The first focus is unique to the form factor, with Google showing people opening a blank document by voice. This enterprise focus matches Assistant adding support for G Suite calendars this year.
- “Hey Google, create a new document”
- “Hey Google, what’s next on my calendar?”
- “Hey Google, remind me to buy a cake for Ciara’s birthday”
- “Hey Google, play some party music”
Otherwise, this is the same Assistant found on other form factors. Google touts “thousands of actions that you can do on your Assistant.” After a command, it offers a carousel of other queries you might want to ask, with “Hey Google, what can you do?” opening an explore capability.
When Assistant is available on your Chrome OS device, you’ll be prompted with a system notification. To check manually, visit Settings > Search and Assistant > Google Assistant. From here, you can also set up voice input and train Google to recognize your voice, just like on Android.
This Google Assistant launch should be tied to Chrome OS 77, which will begin rolling out today and finish over the next several weeks. The company did not provide a list of what Chromebooks Assistant is available on.
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