Google wants its Assistant voice helper to be literally at your fingertips all the time. To this end, it's has locked in several Android phone makers to bring a dedicated button to about 100 million smartphones in the coming year, Google announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
On board with Google's Assistant button plans are LG, Nokia, and Xiaomi. Upcoming phones with the Assistant button include the LG G8 ThinQ and K40, the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G and Mi 9. The new phones with Google Assistant buttons were also announced at MWC this week.
The Nokia 4.2 and the Nokia 3.2 are low- to mid-range phones priced between $100 and $200. The Nokia 4.2 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor and features a 5.71-inch HD+ display, face unlock, an 8MP front-facing camera, 13MP rear-facing camera.
The high-end Mi Mix 3 5G runs on a Snapdragon 855 processor and is the Xiaomi's first 5G handset that can download stuff at a rate of 2Gbps.
TCL and Vivo will also launch phones with the Google Assistant button later this year. All in all, Google expects 100 million devices will launch this year featuring a dedicated Google Assistant button.
SEE: IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)
The Assistant button on Android phones essentially extends a 'squeeze-to-activate' Assistant feature that came with Google's Pixel 2 phone.
Google is also making headway with RCS or Rich Communication Services, its effort to bring SMS up to par with messaging apps like WhatsApp. Google says it's launched RCS in 24 countries.
And off the back of Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X foldable announcements, Google says it will be making improvements to Android for a smooth experience on this new class of tablet-phones.
Google has also expanded the availability of Digital Wellbeing, its tools for helping users cut down on screen time. The service will now be available on phones besides Pixel and Android One devices, starting with Moto G7 devices.
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