An alpha version of the Google app (version 6.13) has been accidentally making the rounds. Some of those who have been able to sideload the update on their Android phone have discovered that a surprising new feature has been added to their device, mainly Google Assistant. The more conversational version of Google Now is currently offered on the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL handsets, and is available through the Google Allo messaging app. If you have the opportunity to install the alpha on your phone, keep in mind that not everyone who loads it will receive Google Assistant. In addition, it is quite buggy.
While it most likely is Google’s intention to widen the distribution of Google Assistant over time, the accidental roll out of version 6.13 of Google has brought the AI feature early to handsets like the Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and the Alcatel Idol 4 among others. Some of those who have sideloaded the new version of Google have been greeted with Google Assistant once they pressed on the home button, similar to how Google Now on Tap is activated
Before you get terribly excited, the settings for Assistant only mentions the Pixel phones, which increases the odds that this is just a mistake. The accidental roll out has allowed users to also discover a new feature to Google called “Recent” that will show recently requested search topics. And a new weather card appears to be in the process of getting tested.
There still could be a rather long period of time ahead before Google officially adds Google Assistant to non-Pixel handsets. If you were able to install the accidental update and ended up with Google Assistant, tell us all about it by using the comment box, below.
Google alpha is allowing some non-Pixel phones to support Google Assistant
Google is apparently adding a Recents feature so you can look at past searches