Following a string of product announcements from Google, a Google Assistant Android app has now gone live on the Google Play Store. The app is simply listed as ‘Google Assistant’ and on the face of it, is designed for devices that already have access to Google Assistant. So this app will not bring the Google Assistant to your device, nor do you need this app to actually make use of Google Assistant. Instead, and according to the Google Play Store listing, this is just a shortcut solution for Google Assistant.
While most Android device owners can launch the voice assistant by holding down the menu key on their device, once this app is installed on a compatible device, it will place a Google Assistant icon on your home screen, thereby allowing device owners to simply tap the icon to launch the Assistant. The Play Store listing also does point out that installing the app will not remove any of the already available launch mechanisms for the feature - such as the ability to hold down the menu key or saying "OK Google." Instead, it will just offer an alternative way in which you can launch the Assistant.
Besides its use as an alternate method to launch, the Play Store listing does not suggest that the installation of the app will offer any additional features or functionality beyond what it already available with the Google Assistant. So unless a user has a direct need or desire to have a quick access Assistant icon on the home screen, then it seems there is little need to install this app. Likewise, if a user is using a device that currently does not meet the requirements for Google Assistant, then this app will not prove to be a solution for that issue either. In fact, in its present form this seems to be an app that is only compatible with smartphones as in spite of the likes of the NVIDIA SHIELD recently gaining Google Assistant support, the SHIELD is also currently showing as a device that is not supported by the app. Caveats aside, those who own a compatible device, and looking for another way to launch Google Assistant, head through the link.