One of the things that Google brought to the Pixel 4 devices is a sort of redesign of the Google Assistant. Not only has the virtual assistant become on-device instead of on the server, it is also now more compact and takes up less real estate on your phone unless you need it full screen or something. It looks like Google is planning to roll out this redesigned Google Assistant to older devices as Pixel 3 owners are seeing an update to the Google beta version showing off this new version.
The current Google Assistant display takes up your entire screen after it hears your trigger word or your command, which can sometimes be pretty obtrusive especially if you were doing something else prior to triggering it. So the redesign is pretty handy now that simple responses will just take up one-third of your screen. If you have streaming music, it will take up half of your display while the weather forecast will fill up two-thirds of your screen.
According to 9 to 5 Google, some users of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have reported seeing the new Google Assistant after updating the Google app beta version. They are now seeing the shorter panel but unfortunately, not the transparent display the Pixel 4 users are enjoying. You’ll see the Assistant icon on the top left corner while the profile avatar will always be visible on the right. In the middle of the two is “Hi, how can I help?”. Below you can see shortcuts for “What’s on my screen?” or “Share screenshot”.
Tapping on the Google Assistant text field to type commands or questions instead of using voice results in a shorter panel. It will also keep your background in view. However, you’ll still see the old pill to launch Lens, voice, and the keyboard but eventually, that should also update to the new version that Pixel 4 is sporting. The new Google Assistant is finally keeping to Google’s “proclaimed ambient computing feature” which should not interrupt your regular digital life.
So far, only Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with Google app beta are seeing the change. No news yet if older Pixel devices or other non-Pixel Android devices will also get this new Google Assistant.