Simplest ways to get the Google Assistant on any Android Marshmallow device (Updated)

When Google released another messaging app, Allo, it opened to much hype and expectations and fell short as it came across a service in development. Google is trying hard and they are planning on adding chat themes to Allo as well but I don’t think anything is going to work until they bring in SMS support and a desktop/web client at least.

However, what almost everyone would agree on is that the integrated Google Assistant is pretty dope. Talking to Google Assistant on Allo almost made me wish I could use voice to talk to it. I’ve never been a fan of talking to my phone before this. Like Siri and Cortana, Google Assistant has a personality, unlike them, it develops over time the more you use it.

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The only way Siri, Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa found a upper hand on Google Now was their personalities. But the Google Assistant is miles better than Alexa and still much better than Siri or Cortana so much so that it might not even be a competition. And it shouldn’t be surprising, if there is one thing Google does best, besides search, is using the user data to provide better services and knowing what the user needs before the user even known it.

Fans were although disappointed to say the least when they found out that the Google Assistant wouldn’t be coming to Nexus devices, and was strictly meant for Google branded hardware. However, turns out, the Google Assistant couldn’t remain Pixel exclusive for long. At least, if you have a rooted device with Xposed framework. One of the reasons I just can’t give up rooting, I’m fine not using Android Pay but I gotta root.

Now the original post was fairly long, and full of updated information, and it became a mess full of various methods. The perks of reporting development as it happens.  Anyhow, as of now, all you need is this little Xposed module called, Assistant Enabler and a Google app version 6.6.14.21 and later. No need for betas.

It is based on the Android N-ify Xposed module which first implemented this feature, however, it works only if your system is more or less stock android like because the N-ify module basically tweaks your system UI to make it seem like Android Nougat. On certain phones I have, the N-ify module was crashing the System UI just as it was for the developer of the Assistant Enabler module. So now all you have to do is download and install this module, no matter your phone’s UI. I’ve been using it for days, works like a charm as they say. Here’s the development thread at XDA in case you wish to check it out.

No root? No Xposed?

However, if you’re not a fan of rooting or the Xposed framework, it is still possible to get the Google Assistant. XDA user FaserF has shared flashable .zip files here that you can use to edit your build.prop without rooting your phone but then you will need a custom recovery.

  • Download them,
  • flash them all through a recovery of your choice (preferably TWRP)
  • and then clear the Google App data in the settings,
  • long press the home button and you should be greeted by the assistant.

This method does work for a lot of people however, I myself have not tested it.

google-assistant-setup.jpg

What it basically does is

  • modify your build.prop changing your device model to Pixel XL (changes the line ‘ro.product.model=yourdevice‘ to ‘ro.product.model=Pixel XL’),
  • tells the system that the device is eligible for running the assistant (adds the line ‘ro.opa.eligible_device=true’ at the end)
  • and installs the latest beta version of the Google app which is required to run the Google Assistant.

If you have root, but not the Xposed framework you can manually do these things too with a file explorer such as Solid File Explorer, ES File Explorer, or Root File Explorer.

I prefer using Xposed framework and modules over modifying system files because it’s easier to uninstall a module or even the entire framework if things don’t work out than changing system files when your phone doesn’t even boot up because of something you did.

In any case, since you are still reading this I’d assume you know your way around root and stuff so if you don’t, I’d advice do a ton of research first. Did you manage to get the assistant working on your device using any of these methods? Facing any problems? Share your experience.

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4 thoughts on “Simplest ways to get the Google Assistant on any Android Marshmallow device (Updated)

  1. I own a Nexus 4 running Android Marshmallow (CM13) and it runs Allo and I talk to Google Assistant all thr time.. I didn’t need to tweak anything to get that to work. I just came across this app (I didn’t kno about Allo or Google Assistant that time) and installed it. So the point is, I am using The Assistant without N-ify or any other tweak, simple CyanogenMod 13.0

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