Google Assistant is coming to older Android smartphones and tablets

Google Assistant

Google Assistant, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant’s voice-activated assistant version of Siri, Cortana and Alexa, is available on most modern, high-end Android devices.

Given how fragmented the Android ecosystem is though, many older devices powered by Google’s OS aren’t capable of running Google Assistant. Now, however, Google is bringing Assistant to smartphones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and tablets that feature Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow.

Lollipop was first released back in 2014, though according to Google’s latest Android distribution numbers, 26 percent of all smartphones are still utilizing the OS, while just over 30 percent feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

If you own one of these older devices, you should see an update arrive relatively soon via your device’s update screen. The update is set to arrive to users who set their language to English, in the U.S., U.K. India, Australia, Singapore, and of course, Canada. If your default language is Spanish  in the U.S., Mexico or Spain, you’ll get the update too.

Google says that it has further plans to release the update to Japan, Germany, Brazil, Italy and South Korea.

The company also says that Marshmallow and Nougat tablet users will get the update at some point next week as long as they’re located in the U.S. and have their device’s language set to English. It’s likely the update will also be released in Canada at the same time.

It’s worth noting that because Assistant isn’t baked directly into the launcher with these devices, you’ll need to open the app before asking it questions. While not an ideal way to access Google Assistant, it’s great that Google has put effort into supporting older versions of its operating system.

Source: Google