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Messages 4.4 brings Google Assistant suggestions in chat for some
Google I/O 2019 brought many announcements with regard to Assistant. As the gateway to many of Google’s services, it’s important that Assistant offers as many functionalities as possible. Particularly in relation to Android, we’ve seen Google Assistant become more and more prevalent in recent months. Google continued this push at I/O, where we learned that Assistant’s data models had been shrunk from 100GB to less than half a gigabyte, allowing for almost zero latency during use. Furthermore, Google is bringing Duplex support to Assistant, allowing it to make automatic bookings for users. There’s so much more that Google hopes to bring, but the general idea behind it is making Assistant more useful, and more universally accessible.
And that’s exactly what this latest version of Messages does. User u/dirtyraat pointed out that on updating to version 4.4.070 of the app, they were greeted with the option to get info on certain topics in the conversation. In the example that dirtyraat gave, Google Assistant picks up on the fact that they are having a conversation about hot pot restaurants and suggests nearby hot pot restaurants.
The option isn’t available for everyone, however. Commenters on the post noted that even after downloading the latest version, they weren’t seeing any Assistant notifications, so it appears that Google is slowly rolling out the feature to select users. According to dirtyraat, you can double-check by going to settings in Messages, and there could be a section labeled “Smart Reply & Suggestions,” where you can customize what Assistant sill suggest. You can download the APK seperatly, however it appears it may need some server side work as well.