Google Assistant 2.0 is finally here. The Pixel 4 and 4XL may have stolen the show at the Made by Google 2019 event, but Google also announced that the next generation of the Google Assistant will start rolling out, beginning with the Pixel 4 and other Pixel phones, though we didn’t see any sign of the Pixel Watch.
Google first announced the second-generation Assistant at Google I/O in May, and it brings some pretty huge improvements. Perhaps the most important change is that Assistant now works largely on-device. While Assistant algorithms used to require over 100GB of storage, that number has now been shrunken down to under 500MB. With the on-device algorithms, Assistant will be able to respond to many day-to-day commands quickly and easily.
Google Assistant has a slightly different look, too, as can be seen in a tweet that Google sent out during the event.
Quickly open apps, search across your phone, and even multitask just by asking the Google Assistant. It's integrated into #pixel4 to make everything you do with your phone easier. #madebygoogle pic.twitter.com/mY4nasSag1
— Google (@Google) October 15, 2019
The new Google Assistant is aimed at being a lot more natural to use. You won’t have to constantly use the “Hey, Google” wake word either. Google has been working on allowing Assistant to use continuous conversation, so when it’s activated, you’ll be able to ask it to perform a range of different commands, without having to wake it for each one. In the demo at Google’s event, Assistant looked to be fast and natural, though we’ll have to wait and see just how well it works once it rolls out to the public.
Google says that it’s focusing on privacy, too. The company is working with partners to migrate their Works with Nest products over to the new “Works with Assistant” program, and it’s requiring that those partners pass a privacy review. Google has been increasingly focusing on privacy for Assistant-focused devices. Recently, it announced new tools that allow users to simply ask Google Assistant to delete data that it has collected.
The new Google Assistant will be available out of the box on the Google Pixel 4, but it will roll out to other devices. We expect the new Assistant to eventually make its way to all Google Pixel devices, as well as devices that run Android One. Eventually, we expect that Assistant will roll out as an update to a range of Android devices, though it’s currently unclear if all devices that have the older version of Google Assistant will also get the new version.