There were rumors that the Google Assistant would be coming to other smartphones in the near future, and that has now happened with LG being first. With the launch of the LG G6, there is now a third smartphone on the market with the Google Assistant built in. You access the Google Assistant the same as you would on the Pixel, really the entire experience of the Google Assistant is the same as on the Google Pixel. Of course, some things may be a bit more integrated on the Pixel versus on the LG G6, but for the most part, the experience is the same.
LG is touting that they have a pretty good relationship with Google these days, after being the first to launch an Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone in the V20 last Fall – even before Google themselves – they are now the first with the Google Assistant. Which is basically replacing Google Now, at least in a sense. You'll still get all the same information that you would with Google Now, but in a more robust interface. The Google Assistant allows you to ask it all the same questions you've always been able to ask Google Now, but the Google Assistant can elaborate better on those questions. In fact, using machine learning, you don't even need to keep talking to keep the conversation going For instance, if you ask how the weather is, you can follow up with what the weather might be like tomorrow, or over the weekend, with the Assistant's smart replies. Not to mention the fact that it is integrated with smart home devices like Nest, Philips Hue and many other systems. Allowing you to turn on or off the lights with your voice.
While the LG G6 may have been left out of getting the latest Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm – due to it not being ready yet – the company has done quite a bit to make the LG G6 a great smartphone and one worth picking up. Adding in Google Assistant is a pretty big deal, and while we'll probably see more devices with it coming this year, LG getting first dibs is pretty incredible. It's also going to show us just how good, or just how bad Google Assistant can be on a device that Google did not build themselves.