A new rumour from Twitter says that Google will update the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P to include the Google Assistant AI feature, which debuted on the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL.
Google Assistant has been widely praised for its capabilities and intuitive, conversational style of implementation. Upon launch of the Pixel series it was a unique selling point for the new handsets, although Google had already teased the Google Assistant AI at its Google I/O conference earlier in 2016. It appears, as with many Google projects, that it’ll be an ongoing effort with continuous development and improvement over time. There are certainly parallels to other intelligence and algorithm based initiatives from Google, such as Google Search, Google Photos, and Google Now.
Following the Pixel launch, a few leaks and rumours have suggested that the Google Assistant may be implemented on third party OEM devices, most notably the LG G6, with the manufacturers apparently not wanting to develop their own AI assistants to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Bixby said to debut aboard the Galaxy S8. Google Assistant may well provide an Android-style plug-in-and-play alternative for OEMs to use on their own Android devices, albeit slightly less comprehensively featured than aboard the Pixel series as Google will want to keep that setup unique.
News of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P update comes via Stephen Hall on Twitter:
“Was recently told that Assistant is finally coming to Nexus 5X/6P soon with next “major” update,” he said.
However, that “major” update line suggests that Nexus owners may well have to wait until the next big Android version – Android O – before getting their Google Assistant fix, it’s probably not going to arrive with the Android 7.1.2 build, the one currently in beta testing, for example, as this is expected to be an incremental update.