Google Assistant, Google’s own AI digital assistant, is now rolling out to several smartphones running Android Marshmallow and Nougat. However, it looks like the company’s digital assistant won’t be making its way to tablets.
Earlier this month, Google Assistant started rolling out to older, non-Pixel smartphones. The company also made it clear on its blog that the service will be available on “Android phones” and “smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.” However, the blog post didn’t mention tablets.
Android Police has now reached out to Google regarding the availability of Assistant on tablets, and this was the company’s response: “The Assistant will be available on Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones with Google Play Services, this does not include tablets.”
Google didn’t provide an explanation as to why Assistant won’t be rolling out to tablets. It’s possible that the company might simply be developing a different interface that can better suit larger screens, as pointed out by The Verge. Interestingly, Now On Tap, Google Assistant’s predecessor, didn’t have to change anything back then and was rolled out to both smartphones and tablets at around the same time.
Another possible scenario is that Google may simply be trying to maintain a slow rollout of its digital assistant. Perhaps Android tablets will get Google Assistant at a later date once all or majority of smartphones have been updated, but that’s just speculation at this point.
Smartphones are undoubtedly more popular than tablets right now, so it does make sense that Google wants to prioritize those. However, it’s a bit frustrating to think that tablets, running the same operating system, aren’t getting the same treatment.
The worst case scenario is that Google Assistant might not be made available on Android tablets at all. That seems a bit unlikely considering that Google is trying to build a more stable software ecosystem across all Android devices.