Google Assistant is a great personal assistant and one of the best features of modern Android. Unfortunately it is restricted to only certain devices. That was until now.

The folks over at XDA have worked their magic once again and you can now have Google Assistant running on any device that has Android 5.0 or above. The best part is no root access is required to get it working.

Although initially only available to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Google later announced that any smartphone running Android 6.0 or above in certain countries could get Google Assistant. Most notably of those devices that are lacking Google Assistant support is those devices running Android 5.0 and also any Android tablet.

The method involved works by launching a hidden activity within the Google App called com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. Say that 3 times!

There’s two methods to call this custom action. Be sure to have updated your Google App to the latest version.

How to Set Up Google Assistant

Method 1 – Using Activity Launcher

  1. Open Activity Launcher
  2. Tap on the “Recent activities” tab up top and select “All activities.” Wait for all activities to load.
  3. Scroll down until you find the Google App. Tap on it to expand all available activities under the Google App.
  4. Find com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. You can either tap on it once or create a shortcut to it on your launcher.
  5. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  6. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  7. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  8. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Method 2 – Using Nova Launcher

  1. Find an empty spot on your home screen and long-press to add something new.
  2. Tap on “Widgets.”
  3. Under “Nova Launcher” tap and hold “Activities” and drag it to your home screen.
  4. Scroll down and find the “Google App.”
  5. Tap on it to expand it, and select com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity.
  6. This will add a new “Google Assistant” icon to your home screen which is a shortcut to this activity. Tap on this icon.
  7. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  8. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  9. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  10. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

The obvious caveat is that you can’t long press the home button to launch Google Assistant as you can on regular devices. For full details go ahead and check out the XDA thread.

Of course, Google could always patch this by renaming so be sure to get this set up while you can. Drop us a comment and let us know how you get on.