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You’ll be able to use Google Assistant inside the Messages app, but Google isn’t reading your chats

Published Feb 26th, 2019 6:50AM EST
Google Assistant in Messages
Image: Google

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Google made various Assistant-related announcements at MWC 2019. The virtual assistant will be available on all the new phones from LG, Nokia, and Xiaomi, as well as next-gen devices from TCL and Vivo. On top of that, Google also created new abilities for the assistant like the ability to invoke it while chatting with your friends and family to bring up more information about some of the topics you might be discussing. However, Google will not be reading your actual messages to get you relevant information.

Instead, the Google Assistant app will stick to providing more details about the entity you select. The Assistant will then provide that information for you to view, and you can choose to share it with the other people in the chat or just keep it for yourself.

Google Assistant will be able to provide information about movies, restaurants, and weather during chats, but the feature will be available only to English users at first, rolling out gradually in the coming months.

Google will be harnessing the AI power of your device to bring up suggestion chips inside Messages, which will be similar in appearance to Smart Replies. If you want to learn more details about the content in a particular chip, you can tap on it for more information — here’s an animation of how the entire thing works:

Image source: Google

Data is sent to the Google Assistant only when you tap the suggestion chips, Google said.

Google explained in a blog post that you could then share the information Google Assistant provides with others. “If you’re chatting about a movie, you might see a suggestion chip to learn more about that film,” Google says. “By tapping the chip, you can ask the Assistant to pull up a card with recent movie reviews or showtimes, which you can choose to share back into your conversation with just another tap. If you don’t choose to share that information, the other person won’t see it.”

Of course, you can summon the Assistant at any point on your device for more complex queries, by pressing the dedicated hardware button or long pressing the Home button.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.