Google had “voice search” capacities before Assistant, which were tightly incorporated with complete search functionality. All innovation has been focused on Assistant over the previous several years, and Google is now in the process of fully replacing Android’s Voice search.
Before the shift today, the ancient “voice search” could still be accessed via the Google app, search bar widget, or shortcut app. In those three places, the microphone icon would conduct a Google Search instantly and give integrated search cards as outcomes. The predecessor of Assistant was more associated with the hotword “Ok Google.”
The Voice search icon has now been substituted with the g-shaped Assistant icon, while the old “Say Hey Google” prompt now tells “Ask Your Assistant.” Accessing still takes up the ancient interface, but Assistant performs the query and outcomes are opened in the slide-up panel. The updated search widget is now matching the Pixel Launcher field at the bottom.
This change is not yet widespread on all of the devices we’ve checked tonight, but it’s live on my Google Account regardless of the version of the Google app (the 10.24 stable or 10.28 beta) and computer.
Old Voice search by Google does have its supporters and work in more languages, but the future is obviously the Assistant across all devices and surfaces. This is probably not an A / B test, but a continuous substitute. Google does not want users to be confused by providing two, mostly comparable, voice-based experiences.
Google Assistant Search