The Google Assistant appears to be close to its long-anticipated tablet release, as suggested by the latest version of the Google Android app. The 7.16 build contains numerous references to a tablet-enabled version of the Google Assistant, with all of them being situated under the services sections of the AI companion’s settings. After navigating to that page, you can select any service like News, Home Control, or Shortcuts, and the compatibility message at the bottom of the next screen that previously only mentioned support for phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later OS versions, Google Home, Chromebooks, TVs, and smartwatches will now also mention tablets, as seen in the screenshot below.
While the Google app claims the Google Assistant is already available on tablets, that doesn’t seem to be the case. However, with the official mention of tablets in the context of Google Assistant support, it appears that the AI service is set to start rolling out to compatible devices in the near future, more than eight months after initially becoming available on non-Pixel smartphones. Introduced as one of the main selling points of the original Pixel and Pixel XL flagships, the Google Assistant became a part of the contemporary Android phone ecosystem this spring, with the Alphabet-owned company also pushing it to other devices like smart speakers, TVs, and security cameras. Following its transition to an “AI-first company,” the Google Assistant became an important component of many of the tech giant’s products and services over the course of this year. Despite those efforts, tablets weren’t prioritized by the Google Assistant team, presumably due boasting a significantly more limited audience compared to handsets.
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The bottom navigation bar featured in the latest version of the Google app also appears to be positioned slightly higher than it was in the previous build of the popular mobile service, with no other apparent user interface changes being visible. The new build of the Google app started rolling out Monday evening and should soon be available for download in all parts of the world. Refer to the Google Play Store banner below to download the app, just don’t expect Google Assistant tablet support to be immediately live.