It’s never been a better time to be a fan of Chrome OS. With many new Chromebooks in the pipeline and the features being added to Chrome OS expanding exponentially, it’s an exciting space to be in right now.
We have been tracking the development of the Google Assistant coming to Chromebooks for some time, and the addition of a physical Assistant key to in-development devices concreted the fact that Google’s smart-assistant will soon be a native part of the Chrome OS ecosystem.
What about older devices?
While a hardware key may or may not become a standard feature on all future devices, non-Assistant-button machines will be able to access the Assistant via a new shortcut added to the repository. The commit, added just yesterday, lays out the new keystroke.
Add UMA metrics for Assistant key In addition to Search + A, the Assistant can be invoked via the dedicated Assistant key on some devices.
It doesn’t get much more cut and dry than that.
Soon, users will be able to access the Google Assistant by simply pressing Search + A.
According to another finding, the Assistant will be enabled inside the settings menu with an on/off toggle button similar to the current Material Design switches in place.
Add Google Assistant settings to the settings UI
Does not currently launch an Intent when the “Google Assistant Settings” button is tapped. That’ll be handled in a follow-up CL.
From this commit, we can see the Assistant functionality has yet to be added. This will simply be the addition of the option to enable/disable the feature.
This is just one of so many enhancements being made to Chrome OS currently. I will be very interested in looking back a year from now to see how much Chrome OS devices have evolved and matured.
Exciting stuff, for sure.