Google Assistant Will Remain Pixel Exclusive In Android 7.1

By James O Malley on at

On Tuesday evening, Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL, its new homegrown flagship devices. One of the key features announced was the Google Assistant, a Siri-like assistant that will be accessible from the phone at all times once you utter the trigger words "OK Google".

Historically, new Android features like this have been rolled out to other Android devices made by the likes of Samsung and HTC, though it now appears that with the Assistant, Google is keeping it exclusive to its own phones.

AndroidPolice published the change-log for Android 7.1, which reveals that you'll need a Pixel or Pixel XL to get the Assistant, as well as a handful of other new features including "smart storage", which will automatically back-up your photos to Google Photos and delete them from your phone to save space, and the new features in the Pixel camera, such as video stabilisation.

So why is Google holding back? It would seem that keeping Assistant for itself is part of the company's recently declared war on Samsung and other Android manufacturers. If the Assistant proves as useful and life-changing as Google likes to claim it will, this will be a major feature in the future - and one that you'll need Google hardware to run.

The good news is that if other Android users do want to use the Assistant, there is a half-way solution: It will still come built in to Google's Allo Messenger. Presumably Google is hoping that this app will be essentially a shop window for how useful the technology when deployed OS-wide could be.

Read More: The Google Pixel Is the Smartest Phone I've Ever Held

[AndroidPolice via TrustedReviews]