Google is building its future around Assistant, its voice-based AI assistant found on Android, Chrome OS and Nest Hub devices. While the digital voice assistant has gained a number of new features since it became first available on Google’s original Pixel smartphones in 2016, Google now seems to be testing a more minimalist user interface for the assistant. While Assistant forms the central piece of Google’s ecosystem, it is still primarily used on mobile devices and with over 2.5 billion active Android smartphones, Google is constantly making it easier to use.
The current user interface for Google Assistant, activated by pressing and holding home button on your smartphone, shows a white card with the Google Assistant’s dialog and also shows some suggestions in the form of shortcuts. Now, as part of revamp, Google seems to be removing that white card altogether along with suggestions, and it is being replaced by a black gradient design along with dark theme. While the color and theme is changing, Google is retaining the shortcuts available for things like the keyboard and At a Glance also remains in place.
The new minimalist UI for Google Assistant first appeared on Google subreddit and XDA Developers elaborate that there is also a Google-themed colored bar at the bottom. It looks like the light bar seen on devices such as the Pixel C. In comparison to current look, this new colored bar looks much more distinct. The new UI seems to be an A/B test and only few people have reportedly gotten this new design. Some have even tried independently updating to the latest version of the Google app without much luck.
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In a nutshell, the new design for Google Assistant from the search giant definitely looks interesting. It just shows how Google is focusing on Assistant beyond adding new features. There is a possibility that this new UI element may never makes its way to the Google Assistant and we will have to wait until future updates to know what Google has planned for the digital assistant. One of the immediate changes coming to Google Assistant is efficiency and improvement in terms of speed. This was demoed at I/O 2019 and will debut first on the fourth generation Pixel smartphones.