Add Google Assistant to your phone by tweaking two lines of code


Want Google Assistant, but don’t want to spend your allowance on a Pixel? I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is you can get it with two tiny tweaks to a single config file — the bad news is you’ll need root access, and there’s no guarantee it’ll work on your phone in particular.

⚠️ Warning! Danger! ⚠️Don’t try this unless you know what you’re doing. Fiddling around in root and bootloaders can and does brick phones. Make a backup first — lots of users are reporting problems.

With that said… XDA user and shiba inu brianelv runs the thread with details and a growing compatible-phones list, and Lifehacker has step-by-step instructions.

First of all, you’ll need Nougat installed. If you have root, use a file explorer to find build.prop, under Root/System. Search for the following two values, and adjust them like so (or add them if you don’t find them):

ro.product.model=Pixel XL

Save and reboot, then go to Settings>Apps, select Google, and clear its data and cache. It should reload with Assistant built in, which you can call up with a long home button press.

Don’t have root? You may still be able to get the feature if you have an unlocked bootloader; you’ll need to go through a custom recovery image or the built-in fastboot. Even more problems are being reported with this method, though, possibly due to mismatched build.prop files.

Mit Panchani runs you through the process below.

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