Android smartphones could begin to get a dedicated button to launch the Google Assistant after an announcement by the company at MWC. OEM’s such as LG, Nokia, Xiaomi, TCL and Vivo will take a leaf out of Samsung’s book and launch devices with a button that will launch the virtual assistant.
Samsung has included a button its devices since the Galaxy S8 to launch its version of a virtual assistant called Bixby. The company has since opened up the button to be remapped to Google Assistant as it was found to be a pretty handy feature. Google seems to agree and has partnered with various manufacturers to bring a similar button that it expects will see over 100 million devices feature.
The button, with a single tap, will launch Google Assistant, similar to what a long tap on the home button does today. A double tap of the button will bring up the feature of Assistant that provides contextual information based on what is currently on the screen. A long press of the button will launch a walkie talkie feature, which triggers Assistant to listen for longer queries aimed at composing emails.
It is likely that the new dedicated button for Google Assistant will also feature on the upcoming Pixel 4, and hopefully, we see it adopted across the Android platform.