The issue starts when trying to launch Assistant. Active Edge and swiping up from the bottom corners does show the light bar, but there’s only a white semi-transparent panel. Doing this repeatedly might yield a “Assistant will be ready soon…” message, but nothing occurs. Meanwhile, the “Hey Google” hotword or tapping the icon on the Pixel Launcher’s search bar does not activate.
The underlying bug is Assistant not being able to accept voice input. Interestingly, you can pull up keyboard entry by going to Updates and choosing one of the commands in the top carousel of suggestions. This brings up an Assistant UI (third and fourth screenshots below) that lacks a working microphone. Text commands do work and fire like usual.
Assistant-related features — including Lens and the Updates feed — work normally on 10.90.14.29. Otherwise, Search, Weather, and Podcasts are operational. Assistant settings are still accessible, but no changes apply.
If you need verbal commands, the old voice search is still accessible for setting timers and doing other basic functionality. The latest Google app beta does not appear to break Assistant on older devices that we updated.
It started rolling out on Monday evening, and is unfortunately timed for the holidays as a new Google app version is likely needed.
Update: One workaround found by commenters (thanks obaykal100 and Ian) involves heading to the Google app’s App info > Storage & cache > Clear storage > Clear all data. Afterwards, you’ll have to set-up Assistant as new, which involves downloading that rather large file.
Update 2: Google released version 10.90.15.29 on Thursday afternoon.
You could also uninstall, leave the beta, and download the stable. Hopefully, Google officially addresses the Pixel 4’s signature Assistant feature breaking before people start receiving the devices as gifts this week.
With December’s Pixel feature drop, the new Google Assistant started rolling out to UK, Canada, and three other countries. Leveraging on-device voice recognition models, it’s faster than the iteration it replaces, thus increasing the likelihood that you’ll verbally interact with the Pixel 4.
More about Google Assistant:
- You can now control Chrome on your Pixel 4 using the new Google Assistant
- Feature Request: Homescreen widgets for Google Assistant routines
- Assistant gains built-in Interpreter Mode on Android and iOS
- Google Assistant adds support for Keep, Any.do, and other third-party note apps
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