Google killed its iconic Nexus series of smartphones to make a prodigious transition from mobile-first to AI-first. The launch of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, first smartphones to be made by Google inside and out, marks the first step of the company's journey towards this shift.
Speaking about the transition, Google made it quite clear at the launch event that its AI-based chatbot, the Google Assistant will be exclusive to Pixel phones and has no intentions to provide access to it on the non-Pixel smartphones (at least for now, things may change in the future).
But, what if we can trick the OS (Android) to make it believe that the phone we are using is a Pixel-labeled smartphone? Well, that's what a XDA user has done. All it takes is a simple tweak to achieve this feat.
Lifehacker has listed two such methods to add Google Assistant to your smartphone. However, we will walk you through the second method since the first method involves your smartphone to be rooted. Take a look at it below.
To add the Google Assistant to your smartphone, you'll need a smartphone running the latest version of Android, the Android 7.0 Nougat.
Flashable .zip file
You'll need a flashable .zip file to modify the build.prop file if you choose to not root your smartphone. Fortunately, FaserF, a XDA user has shared a link to download this .zip file. Click on this link to download.
Though this method doesn't require you to root your smartphone, you'll still have to unlock your phone's bootloader.
How to add the Google Assistant on your smartphone
Step 1: First uninstall the Google app entirely from your smartphone.
Step 2: If you haven't downloaded the .zip files from the above link download it here. If you already did, move them to the smartphones internal storage and follow the next step.
Step 3: Now, reboot your phone into recovery mode.
Step 4: From the recovery mode, navigate to install in your custom recovery. In TWRP recovery mode, the large gray button you see on the first screen of recovery is the Install button.
Step 5: Then install, GoogleAssistantVelvet.zip file.
Step 6: Install GoogleAssistantBuildProp.zip file.
Step 7: Reboot your phone again.
As soon as your phone reboots, give Google the necessary permissions like access to microphone, photos etc., which is located under the Apps section in Settings. Voilà! Long press the home button to open Google Assistant.