You can now use Google Assistant on Windows 10, but there's a catch
Google Assistant is now on Windows 10, thanks to an unofficial client.
What you need to know
- Google Assistant is now available on Windows 10 through an unofficial client.
- The client lets you use many of the features of Google's virtual assistant.
- Setting up the Google Assistant client is a bit complicated.
Google Assistant is one of the most popular digital assistants around. You can use it on smartphones, tablets, smart home devices, and plenty of other gadgets. Up until now, however, you could not use it on Windows 10 PCs or other desktops. That's no longer the case as an unofficial client for Google Assistant is now available. The client is also available on macOS and Linux.
The client, simply called "Google Assistant Unofficial Desktop Client," is made by Melvin Abraham and is available through GitHub. The app has actually been avaialble for some time, but we've highlighted it because our friends at Android Central recently tried it out.
Our friends over at Android Central took a closer look at the Google Assistant Unofficial Desktop Client, including setting it up on a Windows 10 PC and trying it out. Despite being an unofficial client, once set up, the client can handle quite a few of the tasks you'd expect from Google Assistant.
You can bring Google Assistant Unofficial Desktop Client up with a keyboard shortcut and ask it the same things you would ask the best Google Assistant speakers. For example, you can ask it the weather, find out the latest news, and use it to control the best Google Home compatible devices.
There are, however, some drawbacks for this client. The biggest drawback is that it requires you to set up a Google Assistant API with Google Cloud and to create a custom token. Abraham has a detailed guide on how to do this. Android Central's Harish Jonnalagadda says the process should take under 10 minutes, which isn't that bad.
The client also doesn't have hotword detection, so you can't say "Ok Google" or other commands to summon it. It also doesn't work with Assistant routines or support streaming music services.
While the client lacks some functionality of official Google Assistant apps, it actually beats them in a few areas. There are several customization options within the app that should make the official Google Assistant apps jealous.
Fans of Windows 10 should be used to the give and take seen with unofficial clients by now. Developers often fill the gaps left by companies and create wonderful clients for apps and services. There are usually drawbacks, and the company's behind the services can always alter an API that breaks a client, but at least for now, Google Assistant Unofficial Desktop Client looks like a solid choice.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.