Last July, Google began testing a redesign of the Assistant that was partially launched with the Pixel 4. This compact Google Assistant is now appearing to several users of the beta of the Google app in its largest rollout, but not yet finished.
The signature aspect of this new design is its compact size. It starts with the panel that appears after calling Assistant being shorter than before, while the UI elements are brought closer together. The central pill that provides access to lens, voice, and keyboard input remains unchanged. The shortcuts for Snapshot and Explorer also remain the same, although some users today see one for “Updates”, which provides an introduction to what the Assistant can do,
The suggestion bullet carousel looks the same, but there is now one for “Previous Activity”. Appearing on the left, this opens a recent orders sheet and links to all of the Assistant history.
The next change is a large profile avatar in the top right, while the Assistant icon in the other corner is slightly larger.
Once you ask a question, the Assistant panel no longer covers the entire screen to display the answer. Most results – like requesting music – just take up the bottom half of your screen, while the weather will leave a chunk of the background, whether it’s your home screen or the last app you used. A small change in the last command sees Google display the condition icons in the suggestion chip.
Overall, this helps preserve context and makes Google lighter, as we noted in our new Assistant review:
This much improved preservation of context and subtlety reveals how Google wants you to interact with Assistant. In the past, voice was an experience that took up the entire display and often brought you to a scrolling flow. The Pixel 4’s new helper is now more akin to Google’s proclaimed future of ambient computing, where interaction with help should happen without having to think about disrupting your life.
The last rollout when more users encountered the compact Google Assistant was in June. As of this morning, the redesign is experiencing its highest availability yet on the beta channel. However, it is not yet fully launched.
Learn more about the Google Assistant:
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