Google has been using its Pixel-branded smartphones as a platform to introduce new software features on Android. While some of these features remain exclusive to the Google’s own flagship smartphones, other features end up making their way to general release of the software, supported by all other Android smartphones. One such feature available exclusively on the Pixel devices is the ability to trigger Google Assistant directly from the lock screen. But, Google has confirmed that this Pixel exclusive feature will soon make its way to other smartphones.
In the next weeks, Google plans to make the feature available to all Android smartphones. In order to enable the Pixel lockscreen Assistant feature, users need to opt-in through the phone’s settings. Once this feature is enabled, Google Assistant will be available through the lockscreen and can be accessed even when the Android phone is locked. For instance, Android users can ask Google Assistant to show restaurants nearby, set up or dismiss alarms or even schedule reminders and timers without having to unlock their smartphone.
Google Assistant will also be able to provide answers to personal queries and offer traffic updates to work or calendar events. The new feature will be rolled out worldwide in stages and Google says it should be available to everyone with an Android smartphone by the end of this month.
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Google Assistant, the digital assistant powered by Google search and machine learning algorithm, is seen as the next form of operating system, one where the voice is the primary interface. At CES 2019, Google announced a number of devices including a Smart Clock from Lenovo, a KitchenAid Smart Display from Whirlpool and Assistant Connect, which allows device manufacturers to bring the voice assistant to their product. Google Assistant could also be found on things like Instant Pot’s Smart WiFi programmable pressure cooker and Sub Zero’s refrigerator and wine storage. Google Assistant is on over billion active devices but by putting it on the lockscreen, Google wants to make it accessible and used more often.