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Google Assistant Go brings voice interaction to slow handsets

Google Assistant Go highlights (Source: Google Play)
Google Assistant Go highlights (Source: Google Play)
Google Assistant Go has most features of the full Google Assistant app but was designed to work with Android Go handsets, so it lacks hands-free voice activation, reminders, controls for smart home devices, and other advanced capabilities.

Low-end Android devices seem to receive a lot of love from Google lately since YouTube Go is not the only light variant of a very popular app we bumped into these days. However, Google Assistant Go has not been around for a year as YouTube Go, since it made its Google Play debut earlier this week.

As its name suggests, Assistant Go is a light version of the popular virtual personal assistant that Google introduced back in May 2016. After being exclusively available on the Pixel and Pixel XL handsets, it reached the first third-party handsets and the Android Wear platform in February 2017. 

Google Assistant Go is only available for the Android Go handsets, and can perform the following tasks:

  • phone calls ("Call John")
  • SMS messages ("Text Mom I will be late")
  • play music ("Play metal on YouTube")
  • give weather or general information ("How's the weather today?" or "How old is Donald Trump?")
  • navigate ("Take me home")
  • preview upcoming events ("Tell me about my day")

Sadly, to keep the app light, some advanced features had to be removed. While one or two might be added in the future, the list of missing Google Assistant features now includes reminders, the ability to control smart home devices, Actions on Google, Device Actions, and hands-free activation via "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google."

Android Go is based on Oreo and uses less than half of the storage space needed by Android Nougat, and was also designed to work on devices with less than 1 GB RAM. Other Android Go apps that Google released recently are Files Go, Gboard Go, and Google Go.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 02 > Google Assistant Go brings voice interaction to slow handsets
Codrut Nistor, 2018-02- 2 (Update: 2018-02- 2)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.