Workaround

How to get Google Assistant on any Android Nougat phone

If you can't wait until Google Assistant is available on you Android phone, you can use these instructions to get the assistant right now.

Get Google Assistant Android

Google Assistant is your new digital assistant on Android, but unfortunately it’s only available on Pixel phones. However, there is a workaround to get it on any phone running Android Nougat.

Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri, and it’s a very intelligent assistant. Thanks to its access to Google’s knowledge, you can quickly get traffic information, create reminders, get daily briefings, have a conversation and even ask follow up questions, among a number of other useful things.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to modify root files to trick Android Nougat to think your phone is a Pixel device (which in reality is not) to let you get Google Assistant right now.

Things you’ll need

There are two ways to get Google Assistant on your Android Nougat phone. You can edit the build.prop, which will require root access to your phone. Or if you’re not comfortable rooting your phone the second method involves flashing .zip files that will apply the tweak without having to root your phone. Below you’ll find the things you need for this work:

Android Nougat running on your phone. For example, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 or Nexus 5. There are a few other phones that are supported by these methods, you can check the list here.

With root access

If you’re using the root access method, you’ll need to root your phone. You can find the instructions on how to root any phone at the XDA forums.

In addition, you’ll need a file explorer and text editor that allows you to edit root file. You can use any editor you like, and to browse files you can always try File Explorer or Solid Explorer, just to name a few.

Without root access

If you’re not comfortable rooting your phone, you can download the flashable .zip files from the XDA shared by FaserF to edit the build.prop without root access.

You’ll also need to unlock the bootloader, which is not the same as rooting your phone. You can use these instructions as a reference, but remember to skip step 6, 7, 15 and 16.

Additionally, you’ll need a Custom Recovery or Flashboot to flash the .zip files. If you don’t have one, you can install TWRP

How to get Google Assistant editing ‘build.prop’ file using a rooted phone

With an Android phone already rooted, you can use the steps below to edit the build.prop file and get Google Assistant on your phone:

  1. Open File Explorer, Solid Explorer, or the app you have chosen to open root files.

  2. Browse the Root folder and open the System folder.

  3. Find the build.prop file.

  4. Open the file using a text editor.

  5. Look for the line that reads: ro.product.model=[YOUR DEVICE NAME] and replace it with the following: ro.product.model=Pixel XL.

  6. Below the previous line, create the following line: ro.opa.eligible_device=true.

  7. Save and exit the file.

  8. Reboot your device to complete the task.

  9. Open Settings.

  10. Tap on Apps.

  11. Tap on Google App.

  12. Tap on Storage.

  13. Clear data and cache.

Once you completed the instructions, you should now be able to start using Google Assistant by pressing and holding the home button.

Here’s a video demonstrating how to add Google Assistant to a Nexus 6P running Android Nougat. (You can download the build.prop file mentioned in the video from XDA.)

How to get Google Assistant without rooting your phone

Thanks to the flashable .zip files provided by FaserF from XDA, you can get Google Assistant without rooting your Android phone.

Here are the steps to get the assistant on your device:

  1. Make sure to have the latest version of Android Nougat 7.0 and Google app (Velvet) (6.5.35.21 or later).

  2. Download the required .zip files and save them on your phone’s internal storage.

  3. Reboot your Android handset into recovery mode.

  4. Tap or navigate to install a custom recovery. If you’re using TWRP recovery, Install is the gray button on the first page in recovery.

  5. Install GoogleAssistantVelvet.zip.

  6. Install GoogleAssistantBuildProp.zip.

  7. Reboot your phone.

  8. Open Settings.

  9. Tap on Apps.

  10. Tap on Google App.

  11. Tap on Permissions.

  12. Enable permission to the microphone.

After completing the instructions, you should now be able to start using Google Assistant by pressing and holding the home button.

It’s important to point out that this aren’t supported methods to get Google Assistant. Rooting and unlocking your phone can cause problems, you can brick your phone or void the warranty. You should only proceed if you know what you’re doing and if you’ve created a backup of your device. Use these instructions at your own risk, and remember that Google can close this backdoor at any time, which means that it might work today, but not tomorrow.

Source XDA via Lifehacker

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