Launched as an exclusive for the newly announced Pixel Devices – at least for now – the Google Assistant is baked into the OS level of Android 7.1. The tinkerers over at XDA-Developers though have been playing around and it appears you can get it working on any device running Nougat.
The hack is actually fairly simple, you will need Root access to your device as it involves editing or replacing your Build.Prop to show the device as a Pixel XL. Once that’s done you’ll need to ensure you have the latest version of the Google App – essentially anything above version 22.214.171.124. Finally, you’ll need to reboot your device and clear data and cache from the phone.
Once you’ve gone through all that, it’s a matter of long pressing the home button to invoke the Google Assistant and you’re good to go.
The XDA-Developers thread lists the hack working for anyone with a Nexus 6P but it also appears to work for anyone with a Nougat device – though some users on reddit had issues with some ROMs, but even those issues seem to be resolved.
There’s possibly some issues with the stock camera, but even that seems to be limited to only some users and they’re using alternate camera apps as those have no issues.
If you’re game, you too can try it out with the details of the Build.Prop modification available over on XDA-Developers.