Chromebook Google Assistant is on the way, OK Google going out

Google Assistant is almost in every notable Google product, from the Google Home, Android phones, Android Wear smartwatches, and at least one Android TV. Well, almost. The one remaining holdout is, unsurprisingly, Chrome OS, Google's desktop-like platform. Worry not, Chrome OS fans, you too will soon get your well-deserved AI assistant. And, no, it won't be coming via a still in beta Google Play integration but a feature in its own right, displacing the less used and even unknown "OK Google" hotword.

In a sense, this is to be expected. It was really only a question of when. After all, Google Assistant has already displaced "OK, Google" in smartphones and smartwatches anyway. So why not on Chromebooks? Probably because voice control never really took off on these laptops, something that Google is planning to change.

It might actually surprise some that Chrome OS has an OK Google hotword. Not many know about that, not even some Chromebook owners themselves. That discoverability has been the primary reason why few people even use the hotword. Not that it was extremely useful in its earlier incarnations anyway.

A recent commit to the Chrome OS codebase reveals that Google is retiring the OK, Google hotword. In its place will come Google Assistant. And to make sure that users know about this feature, Google will present a step-by-step setup wizard the first time users set their Chromebooks up. New Chromebooks will supposedly even a dedicated key to launch Google Assistant.

That, however, still doesn't answer the most important question: when. On the one hand, Google is already paving the way for Assistant's arrival. On the other hand, the actual implementation hasn't been added in the code yet. That could come with the next "Eve" Chromebook, whose launch is also still unknown.

VIA: Chrome Unboxed