In one fell swoop last October, Google launched its new Pixel phones and killed off its beloved Nexus devices.
If you own a Nexus and still feel betrayed, there might be some good news on the horizon. 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall says he was recently told Google might bring the Pixel’s Assistant to the Nexus 5X and 6P in a future update.
Was recently told that Assistant is finally coming to Nexus 5X/6P soon with next “major” update.
It wouldn’t be the first Pixel feature to find its way to the Nexus. Google recently brought the Pixels’ “fingerprint swipe” gesture, which lets you swipe up and down on a fingerprint sensor to scroll through notifications to the Nexus 5X, due to popular demand.
If Hall’s source is right, Google porting the Assistant to the Nexus 5X and 6P would be a dramatic shift in strategy for the company.
When the Pixels were announced, Google said the Assistant would be exclusive to its new phones and Google Home. The Assistant, Google said, would be one of the the key differentiators and major selling points of the Pixel and Pixel XL.
But as I noted in my Pixel review, while the Assistant is good (especially at understanding context), limiting it to just Google hardware hurts more than it helps since it’ll only be used by the smaller subset of Android users who can afford to pay big bucks for a premium device.
The rest of Android’s users — the midrange and even upper-budget tier — are left completely out of the loop.
Putting the Assistant on more devices (even if they’re old ones) would greatly expand its user base and machine-learning capabilities. I’d even argue it’s the “Google way” of doing things.
Google’s Nexus phones might not be the only devices that will get the Assistant. Android TV’s getting it via the Nexus Player. Leaks suggest the Assistant will also make its way to the company’s two flagship Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches, which could be announced on Feb. 9. The same goes for LG’s upcoming flagship G6 phone.