Friday , April 28 2017

Google Assistant – have you received it on your phone?

Google’s exciting new virtual Assistant began rolling out to Australians using non-Pixel phones a week ago, but it seems it’s taking a fairly long time to reach users, so is there a common thread? We thought we’d try to find out through crowd sourcing.

We’ve seen some back and forth between users, but adding our own 2c to the conversation, here at Ausdroid we’ve got writers using all three carriers, as well as MVNOs using those networks and had varying results. We’ve also got phones all running Marshmallow or above as required to run the Google Assistant, but some have the Assistant, and some don’t – so what’s going on?

We’ve seen previously that Telstra blocks updates for phones, though mainly Pixel and Nexus updates in a broad sense, but it’s entirely possible that they’re blocking something here. It’s also possible that it’s a server side switch to enable Google Assistant as the two phones I’ve had receive the Assistant had no OTA software updates prior to getting the notification – so maybe it’s being switched on slowly?

To see if there’s a common thread, we’ll start with carriers as the basis for questions and we’ll go from there. So, answer away:


Daniel Tyson   Editor at large

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress and IFA.

  • Presto

    Stupid question, but how do you know if you have it or not?

    • Glad you asked as I wasn’t 100% sure myself. I figured just holding the home button might show it.

      • No_Underscore

        Correct, it will pop up with the intro screen, very obvious and very different to Google Now.
        Tried it out on USA English and swapped back when I heard that it was going to support AUS … but alas, nothing… (Telstra!??)

  • Anthrox

    still doesnt work when you set your language to English (Australia) as soon as you set English (USA) it works, you might have to clean the app data for the Google app.

    • Nick

      What language are you referring to? Device language or the Google App/search language? Cheers.

      • Anthrox

        system keyboard im using the Gboard on a Nexus 6P

  • Prepagan

    I’m on Lineage OS so don’t expect to be part of any roll-out but I amended my build.prop and have had Google Assistant for a month or so now (with Aussie English).

  • arathkone

    Working on Virgin Mobile (Optus) Nexus 6P.
    I ended up doing the phone language switch to US English and then when it was enabled went back to Aus English.
    I actually keep US, UK and Aus English all enabled and my Voice recognition is in UK and Aus English with UK as the primary (i’m a Brit). However, in Assistant it states it’s Aus English, I think it’s based on the phone language. All very confusing.

  • Allan Thomas

    I’ve just realised that I have Google Assistant, working perfectly in Australian English on my Nexus 6. The key to it is open Allo, then click the text message icon at the bottom right of the screen. This brings up Assistant and away you go!

    • aaricku

      But this isn’t the same google assistant on the phone that allows to hook into home automation etc? It’s only limited to allo, which have been available for quite some time now..

  • William Ferguson

    Looking at the stats above, it appears to be a 20% roll out.

  • Michael Wheeler

    So I answered no above, however changed my language to american cleared my google app and i now have google assistant, I have even changed back my language and it is still there however ill have to test it. Moto G4 Plus (7.0)

  • Barry

    I don’t think this has anything to do with which carrier you are on. It seems to be a combination of which language you’re using in conjunction with being an incremental rollout, which is a random process.
    I was surprised to find that I had it working at least a week ago (on Nexus 5X with TPG) and wondered why. I discovered my language was set to US English which wasn’t applicable to me, being an ex-pom now living in Oz, so I messed around with the various language settings and sometime between then and now I lost access to Google Assistant. So for me at least it has nothing to do with the carrier I’m on and is instead something to do with language settings.

    • It’s interesting to us, we’re not sure what the common thread is either. We’ve decided to start at least polling for which carriers people are on due to some ‘heated’ discussion on whether Telstra was blocking the ‘update’.

      We’ve seen people with Aus English get the update, people with only US English get it. This is just a poll to rule out Telstra blocking the Assistant which we don’t think is the case.

      • Adrian

        Being in the Beta program hasn’t helped me. 7.1.2 installed on my 6p but no sign of assistant.

  • Andrew

    Hey Guys, So I run a Nexus 6P on the Optus network. I have tried to get the assistant for a little while now. I have noticed that I had to try to use the google assistant before it would actually allow me to use the assistant I can now run it no problems

  • Ryan Saffer

    On nexus 5x with the latest 7.1.2 and still nothing! Even tried changing to English US many different times over last few weeks and still nothing!! Hurry up!

    • sandflavoured

      try clearing data from the Google app and then long pressing the home button, or clearing it and restarting your phone and then long pressing.

  • Dean Rosolen

    Based on the early results, it seems that I’m right and that it’s just Google being slow as usual. If it was Telstra blocking the update, you’d have a lot more “Yes (Optus)” and “Yes (Vodafone)” votes.

  • aaricku

    Still nothing here oN moto z…can someone ask Google to hurry up! Sigh..

  • deanomalino

    Just changed system language to US English, cleared data from Google app, loaded it up again, then held down the home button and it showed up. 👌

    Changed language back to Australia and it’s still there.

    • Trumpzilla

      did the same, same here also, now changing back to English (Aus) to see if it still remains…… yes woo hoo ! and (our) nicole sounds better now 🙂

      • Anthrox

        yep i did this also change it back to Australian english Assistant is still there but is missing feature that you find in the US version like home automation but thing i had setup still work

  • Matt M

    Assistant seems to offer much less information upon searching. NOW would present a while page of information such as a small map, popular article, hours open…..very often I would not need to search further. Assistant wants to carry on a conversation and just brings a single result, maybe you can swipe sideways for a few more, and then makes you click below for Google search, maps, calling, ect. I like more information with less tapping and talking. I hope they will make Assistant more user friendly soon because when I disable it they don’t allow me to go back to NOW!

  • Stuart Buck

    I did the US language change and clear Google App data and got Assistant. When I change back to Australian language it reverts to Google Now after about 10 minutes. Nexus 6P, Telstra.

  • No_Underscore

    I got my update to 7.1.2 and security update yesterday, i thought this might kick all things into gear. (This system update came out nice and quick, no issues from Telstra).
    Pretty sure Play Services app is up to date for Assistant, just waiting on google to do their thing… seems to be a very slow role out.
    While I didn’t spend long with the assistant (via US English) to notice the limitation of it that the other mention… however with reverting back to Google Now, the pop up screen does look ancient!

    • No_Underscore

      Just checked and the assistant has arrived… Keep it rolling Google

  • Stavyboy

    Just got google assistant (AU) on galaxy s6 edge+ SM-G928I from a google update

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