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Code suggests Google Assistant will come to all Chromebooks

XDA Developers spotted a feature that will let OEMs turn the voice assistant on.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
February 9, 2018
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If you want Google Assistant on a Chromebook, you currently have exactly one option: Google's own $1,700 Pixelbook. It looks like Google's about to unleash its voice helper on any ChromeOS device, however, if code spotted by XDA Developers is implemented. In a recent ChromeOS built, there's a new feature that will let manufacturers enable Google Assistant (by default, it's off). According to another part of the code, OEMs will be able to decide whether it listens for a keywords or is activated simply by a button press.

Google Assistant code for ChromeOS has been spotted before, but this is the first time we've seen a reference to a code commit. While the Pixelbook is a stunning device, many folks choose Chromebooks as an inexpensive web and email machine or basic PC for family members. Having the Assistant, then, will make them a lot more useful for that crowd.

It's hard to say when the feature will arrive, as the time between a committed feature and wide release can vary drastically. On top of that, it could take manufacturers like ASUS and HP awhile to implement it. On the other hand, it's a pretty strong selling point, so that could motivate Google and sellers to get it ready as soon as possible.

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