Ever wanted to use Google Assistant on your computer? Unless it’s a Chrome OS machine, you’ve probably been out of luck. Now, however, a smart developer has managed to put together an unofficial Google Assistant client for Windows, macOS and Linux, but it’s a bit complicated.
Let’s start with the good. This unofficial Google Assistant client by Melvin L. Abraham (available for download on GitHub) look pretty good. It has a clean design that fits well with Assistant on other platforms. It’s a bit of a mix between a smart screen and the interface you see for Assistant on Chrome OS. It even has a dark theme and a light theme to suit your preferences. There is also a hefty settings menu with automatic start options and more detailed controls. In particular, there is also a keyboard shortcut to launch the app and microphone. On Windows it is Win + Shift + A. It is also nice that the app stays on top of the user interface.
Functionally, this app seems to work relatively well, but not perfectly. Basic commands work well, such as asking for weather details or general questions. Some more advanced features also work, such as smart home controls and broadcast messages, but you may notice that some of these commands lack a proper user interface. Some may also be slow to upload.
Many other commands also do not work, such as trying to trigger music playback or assistant routines. In particular, however, another client claims to support Spotify and other music players.
What is the catch? Since this is an unofficial client, it is a lot of the work of getting all this set up. If you saw the unofficial port of Assistant on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch models in 2019, the process may seem relatively familiar. The project’s creators have an excellent detailed guide on Github. Essentially, the process of using Google Cloud to use the Assistant API is boiling.
Being unofficial, technically, this can stop working when Google decides to kill it. If you’m concerned about your account security, it may be a good idea to use a backup or burner account that has smart home controls shared from your main account, but the app only uses Google’s official APIs to make all of this work. just use them in a way Google technically does not support.
If everything works out correctly, you will probably be able to get things working within about 10-20 minutes. In my case, I came across an “unexpected exception occurred” error that I could not get around without wiping the app’s data in Windows.
Personally, I’m so glad this exists. I’ve wanted a real desktop client for Windows for many years, since I love running smart home commands on my Chromebook when I work on it. No matter what interest this app creates in the community, I hope it’s enough to get Google’s attention so that the company finally gives us something official, even if it’s just a web app!
H / T: Android Police
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