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Every LG and Nokia phone ahead will have a Google Assistant button

Last year, LG partnered with Google to get a Bixby style assistant hardware button for some of their phones. Turns out that cooperation was only the beginning. Today, Google announces that this partnership extends to the "entire portfolio" of new devices from LG and Nokia, as well as choosing phones from Xiaomi, Vivo and TCL (read: Alcatel, Palm and BlackBerry). Phones explicitly mentioned as getting the button include both LG G8 ThinQ and K40, Nokia's upcoming 3.2 and 4.2, Xiaomy's Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9, and Vivo's V1 5 Pro. If you're not familiar with how this button works and press it, a certain digital personal assistant – Google's – will start in this case. From there you can talk to your question or interact with it as you would if you launched it in any other way. The assistant button also has two other pieces of functionality, however: A double button activates upcoming / "snapshot" reminiscent of Google Now and a long press triggers what Google calls a "walkie talkie feature" so you can force the assistant to listen to the full length of a question or instructions. The latter should be useful when dictating longer messages, or when issuing particularly complicated commands. Let's just hope that Google and these OEM users allow the button to be reviewed. Although Google's assistant is much better than Bixby, it is quite a limitation to be focused on using specific hardware of your hardware.

Last year, LG partnered with Google to get a Bixby style assistant hardware button for some of their phones. Turns out that cooperation was only the beginning. Today, Google announces that this partnership extends to the “entire portfolio” of new devices from LG and Nokia, as well as choosing phones from Xiaomi, Vivo and TCL (read: Alcatel, Palm and BlackBerry).

Phones explicitly mentioned as getting the button include both LG G8 ThinQ and K40, Nokia’s upcoming 3.2 and 4.2, Xiaomy’s Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9, and Vivo’s V1

5 Pro.

If you’re not familiar with how this button works and press it, a certain digital personal assistant – Google’s – will start in this case. From there you can talk to your question or interact with it as you would if you launched it in any other way.

The assistant button also has two other pieces of functionality, however: A double button activates upcoming / “snapshot” reminiscent of Google Now and a long press triggers what Google calls a “walkie talkie feature” so you can force the assistant to listen to the full length of a question or instructions. The latter should be useful when dictating longer messages, or when issuing particularly complicated commands.

Let’s just hope that Google and these OEM users allow the button to be reviewed. Although Google’s assistant is much better than Bixby, it is quite a limitation to be focused on using specific hardware of your hardware.

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Faela