‘On-device Assistant’ Coming to Chromebooks

Google debuted a new and improved version of Assistant at Google I/O 2019. This new Assistant, according to Google could live on your device and handle your queries without connecting to the cloud each time.

A new flag discovered by our friends at Chrome Unboxed suggests that this feature is headed to Chrome OS as well.

Google Assistant on Chromebook

What is on-device Assistant?

According to Google’s official blog, this new Assistant has “completely new speech recognition and language understanding models, bringing 100GB of models in the cloud down to less than half a gigabyte.”

The reduced size means you can store it on the device. Your phone need not contact Google servers to interpret each voice command. This makes the Assistant faster.

Google claims that this makes the Assistant up to 10 times faster.

On-device Assistant on Chromebooks

Chrome OS 85, which is currently under development, has the following flag:

“Enable On Device Assistant: Enable On Device Assistant – Chrome OS.”

This shows that Chromebooks will also get this improved Google Assistant in the near future.

Will all the Chromebooks gets this feature? That is difficult to say.

When Google announced the new Assistant, it was a Pixel 4 only feature at first. We might see similar restrictions on Chrome OS too.

I could enable this flag on my Pixel Slate which runs Canary channel (always runs Canary, I must add). We will have to wait for an official announcement from Google to see if this feature will come to all Chromebooks.

What do you think? Will this be a Google-branded-Chromebooks-only feature?

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