A little over two weeks ago, Gabriel posted about the addition of the Google Assistant coming to the Chrome OS App Launcher. As Chromebooks all eagerly await the arrival of the Google Assistant (apart from the Pixelbook), we may be seeing the first sign of how it will get integrated across the board in Chrome OS 70.
As Gabriel pointed out in the previous article, it looks like all the commits and research are all panning out exactly as expected. Users will have the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of the Google Assistant on their devices as a part of the out of box experience and this new placement will give users a quick and easy way to call up the Assistant whenever they need it.
We fully expect to see a keyboard shortcut combo as well for devices without the dedicated Assistant key.
Now Showing On The Pixelbook
Gabriel’s earlier article was clearly on-point, but today we are happy to show this whole theory actually seeing the light of day on a Pixelbook in the Dev Channel (Chrome OS 70).
Without a flag or any special settings, the button simply showed up. This alludes to the feature being a server-side option that the devs can simply enable without an OS update.
For now, the button crashes Chrome entirely. However, as we’ll talk about in a future Chrome OS 70 article, the app drawer was crashing completely just a week ago and is now fully functional. Version 70 is quickly solidifying and taking shape, so I’d fully expect to see this Assistant button working in short order.
What is most intriguing is the fact that this option went from concept to near reality so quickly right along with some other things that were totally broken just a week ago in the dev channel. This version of the OS is a mighty change for Chrome OS, and it seems Google is intent on getting all these new changes out the door for ‘Nocturne’s release in just over a month from now.