There are a handful of ways to launch Google Assistant on Android at this point. With the Pixel Launcher, you can tap the microphone icon in the search bar, but this is currently opening “voice search” instead of Assistant.
Update 1/4: Google has addressed the Pixel Launcher’s microphone button not launching Assistant. If you’re not seeing this server-side Google app fix today, reboot your Android device and voice search should stop opening afterwards.
Original 1/2: “Voice search” is part of Google Search. It roughly dates back to the pre-Assistant Google Now era and where you can find the excellent Hum to Search capability today.
Instead of Assistant, the older experience is launching today when tapping the four-color microphone icon at the bottom of the Pixel Launcher.
This is happening with Google app 15.0, which is currently in beta and powers both experiences, but also some Android 14 QPR2 Beta 2 devices we checked today that are not running the latest Google app preview. Regardless of whether this is a bug or an intentional test, it’s breaking people’s expected behavior.
Related: As Assistant with Bard inches toward launch, here’s its UI in action [Video]
The Pixel Launcher shortcut was particularly nice for being just a tap and not taking up an additional space on your homescreen, while alternates include swiping diagonally from the bottom-left/right corners or holding down on the power button (which should really be larger on Pixel phones).
More on Google Assistant:
Google Maps ‘Driving Mode’ on Android might go away in 2024
Android Auto will have Google Assistant summarize your messages with AI
Google officially announces Assistant Quick Phrases for Pixel Buds Pro [U]
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