Google Assistant Support Could Land On Chrome OS Soon

Acer Chromebook 11 CES 2018 AM AH 0040

Google Assistant integration could be coming to Google’s Chrome OS. So far the company’s personal assistant has been made available on a wide range of devices including Android devices, earphones, and speakers. Oddly, though, Google Assistant lacks a wide presence on Chrome OS, with the only Chromebook to currently support the assistant being the internet giant’s own Pixelbook which launched back in October. Now, though, thanks to a merged commit in the Chromium Gerrit project, it appears the virtual assistant could be coming to other Chromebooks in the near future.

Looking through the merged commit, it appears that the update will disable the Google Assistant by default, but it can be enabled manually by the user at any time. Once activated, the assistant will listen for the usual “OK Google” or “Hey, Google” phrases. However, it does appear that another setting will be included in order to activate or deactivate these hot words. In fact, manufacturers of the Chromebooks in question can also limit the personal assistant to a specific button press, in a similar way to Pixelbook users who can press the dedicated Google Assistant button in order to launch it. Despite this coding progress, though, there is yet to be any official confirmation of the plans from the internet giant itself, which means the wait for official support is likely to drag on for at least a few months. Nonetheless, with the company’s annual Google I/O event set for May 8, the event could easily be the platform Google choose to announce support. If so, Chromebooks will be the latest products to join an already-wide variety of products that support the Assistant. Among these are some Kodi media players which received support in a recent alpha build, LG’s recently announced ThinQ WK9 Smart Display, and a number of Bang & Olufsen speakers, to name just a few.

The possible Google Assistant integration comes shortly after the internet giant released the latest version of the operating system, Chrome OS 64. The latest update brings a new Android-inspired screenshot shortcut, while a number of Android app-related enhancements are listed as being included. Furthermore, a number of browser security updates were also introduced, alongside some lock screen speed improvements, which should make logging into a Chromebook slightly quicker.