This Android hack brings Google Assistant to your non-Pixel smartphone

Google Pixel phone
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Android Nougat has started rolling out to devices, boasting a number of awesome new features designed to make your life easier. One of the best of those features is Google Assistant, Google’s new digital assistant that replaces Google Now. Unfortunately, Assistant will only be available on certain phones like the Google Pixel, but it turns out that if you really want Assistant, there’s a hack to help you get it.

According to a post on XDA-Developers, if your phone is rooted and you have version 6.5.35.21 or newer of the Google app, you can edit a file with the name of build.prop to trick Google servers into thinking that its the Google Pixel XL.

You can also use a flashable image, which is available on XDA-Developers, but remember to backup your data before doing anything, just to stay on the safe side.

It’s important to note that really only those with sufficient technical know-how should try and hack their phone like this. Not only that, but only those who know what they’re doing should even root their phones — there are plenty of dangers with rooting your phone, including some that could basically brick the device, void your warrant, and make it easier for malware to breach it. Not only that, but some users on the XDA-Developers thread have been commenting that the process has been messing up features like the phone’s camera, and a number of errors have showed up. Safe to say, it’s probably best not to try this on your daily driver device.

Still, the fact is that there may be ways to get Google Assistant on a phone that isn’t the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL is nice. Hopefully, the feature will open up to other phones officially as time goes on.

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