Google Assistant that was launched at Google I/O 2016 event is an upgraded edition of Google Now. Google has already released the Google Play Services 10.2.99 APK which includes the Google Assistant. It indicates the official upgrade will be soon available on Google Play Store.
Earlier today, several tech sites had reported that by installing the APK with version number 10.2.99, users can install and use the Google Assistant before the official release on the Google Play Store. However, users who tried installing the Google Play Services APK file have claimed that they are unable to use the Google Assistant.
We too received few queries from our readers and we also tried installing the Google Play Services APK 10.2.99 on our test devices after checking some guides where they mentioned that the guide worked. However, after trying it, even we were unsuccessful in using Google Assistant after installing the latest APK for Google Play Services.
To sum up, it appears like someone is spreading fake information that installation of Google Play Services APK 10.2.99 gives access to Google Assistant. As of this writing, it seems there is no way to get the Google Assistant before the Google Play Services is officially rolled out through official OTA update. At the beginning, the official OTA update would be only available in the US and it will soon arrive in markets like the U.K., Australia, Canada, and Germany. The update won’t need any approval from smartphone makers or carriers.
The official upgrade through Google Play Store for Google Play Service 10.2.99 may take some more days to arrive. However, users who wish to try installing can now download and install the Google Assistant APK from here.
Compared to Google Now, the Google Assistant is more conversational. It was first introduced on a non-Google phone, the LG V20. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones came pre-installed with it. The digital assistant is an inbuilt feature of Google Allo messaging app. The minimum hardware requirements needed to run Google Assistant is HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels) screen or higher and 1.5 GB RAM or more and of course, the devices should be running at least on Android Marshmallow.