This month has been packed to the gills with hardware announcements from Google. We got our first look at the Daydream View VR headset, we learned the price and release date of Google Home and we were introduced to Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones. All of those products cost money, but one of the most exciting releases of all is actually free to download: Google Assistant.
Google rolled out the red carpet for Google Assistant earlier this month, showing off everything that its intelligent new AI could do. Unfortunately, the Pixel will be the only phone with Google Assistant built in for the time being, but if you have a phone with Android 7.0 Nougat installed, there is a workaround.
On Thursday, Redmond Pie put together a guide for installing Google Assistant on any compatible device. Keep in mind, you’ll need to root your phone in order to do this, so if that makes you uncomfortable, you might be out of luck.
- Before you start, make sure that you have a recent version of the Google app on your phone (past version 126.96.36.199).
- Now you need to root your Android 7.0 device (if you haven’t already). Sadly, this will eliminate many Android owners from this process, as a majority of Android phones haven’t been upgraded to Nougat yet. If you need to know how to root your phone, Digital Trends has a great guide that explains all of the risks and rewards.
- Once your phone has been rooted, you need to navigate to the “build.prop” file, which you can find inside the “/System” folder. Make the following changes once you’ve accessed the file. (You’ll need an app to do that):
- Save the file, exit out and reboot your device.
- When your phone starts back up, go to Settings and clear all Data and Cache for the Google app.
If you do all of this, you should be able to long press the Home button to access Google Assistant. Not too complicated, but make sure you know what you’re doing (and understand the risks associated with rooting) before you proceed.