Google announced at the 2019 Mobile World Congress that it's adding a dedicated Google Assistant button to more Android handsets this year.
Similar to Samsung's Bixby button, which most users find annoying, Google's new physical button aims to give easy access to its very own virtual assistant.
Phones With Google Assistant Button
The Google Assistant has been present on most Android phones. Previously, users can only launch Assistant by holding down a device's home button or through saying voice commands such as "Hey, Google." An exclusive button for the Assistant isn't something new, though. In fact, the first phone to sport the said button — the LG G7 ThinQ — was launched in 2018.
Now, the Mountain View company said it's bringing the button to more phones, including ones from Nokia (Nokia 3.2 and 4.2) and, again, LG (K40, G8 ThinQ, and V50 ThinQ). Phones from TCL, Xiaomi (Mi 9 and Mi Mix 3 5G), and Vivo (V15 Pro) will also sport the dedicated Assistant button later on.
According to Google, it expects more than 100 million units will launch with the physical Assistant button.
How Does It Work?
The dedicated Google Assistant button works three ways.
A single tap lets users ask questions about random Google searches as well as control the Assistant through voice commands. Tapping it twice will launch the Visual Snapshot, basically a roster of information about a user's day, such as schedules, traffic, and weather. Pressing and holding the button will trigger the Assistant's "walkie talkie" feature. This feature stays active for as long as a user is pressing the button, which is great for dictating messages and emails or for longer queries.
Still, there are users who don't really use Google Assistant. So is it remappable? For the upcoming phones, probably not. The current phone with the Assistant button, the G7 ThinQ, doesn't allow remapping as of the moment. Fortunately, users can disable the button if they don't find it very useful.