If you are using a non-Pixel phones and feel interest in Google Assistant, you should already know the method that how to enable Google Assistant on your phone, which is changing your device model to “Pixel” or “Pixel XL”, but this change may break something that related to device model, some people has reported they have camera crash issue after doing the build.prop change, and other problem with OTA or device detection. And now here is another way that enable Google Assistant on non-Pixel devices, we are going to hack the Google App itself.
How to install?
Before installation, read this carefully
I will provide a flash-able package for Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P (arm64 version) and a arm version for others like Nexus 4 / Nexus 5 / Nexus 6, Google App version is 126.96.36.199, you can install it through TWRP, PS. I suggest you use it on Android 7.0+ roms. This is only tested on Nexus 5X running Android 7.1.1 DP2, but it should work for Android 7.0+ stock roms, it should also work on custom roms (7.0+) with Gapps installed. I don’t promise it will work on other roms, theoretically if your system’s Google App apk was located at /system/priv-app/Velvet/Velvet.apk (7.0+), the mod should work. I also noticed if I change the system language from English to others, Google Assistant still works when long press the home button, speak the current language.
The installation only change one file of your system, it is /system/priv-app/Velvet.apk. You can back up the original file yourself before installation, as it broke the signature scheme V2, this mod can not be install by a normal way, You also Can not Install Google App Update through Play Store, and you should revert it before OTA installation. I will provide an update when a New version of Google App released.
Continue if you understand the risk, do this step by step.
1. Go to Settings -> Apps, find Google Apps, check top-right menu, uninstall update.
2. Download the Flash-able package, install it through TWRP, then reboot.
3. Let the phone settle down, long press home button to see if Assistant pops up, if some FC error appear, Go to Settings -> Apps, find Google Apps, tap Storage, manage space, Clear Google search data, then go back to Google Apps info page, tap permission, check all permission, then try long press home button again, Google Assistant should show up.
How to restore?
I also provide a Back-to-Stock zip as usual, but it is only for Nexus 5X / 6P running Android 7.1.1 DP2, if you are using custom roms (7.0+), you can simply flash your original Gapps package to go back to stock. If you are using stock roms, try flash OTA zip or system images, or just restore your backup.
I test myself on Nexus 5X and no bugs. Here is a sample video recorded by me.
Arm version: Google-App-Mod-6.9.37.Arm