I really want to like Google Assistant. At first glance, it seems to be the natural progression of Search and Google Now. However, the more I try to use it, the more frustrating it has become. I rarely used voice input while using Google Now — it was a glorified long press shortcut to search the web and it was great! However, the update to Google Assistant has taken a step back, and I sort of hate it.
Since the update, I have consciously skipped using Assistant. It disappoints me that they have removed the capabilities of simply typing a search into Assistant. There are several reasons why I don’t like it: security of not having others know my search, typing guarantees the right question or input, and finally, I refuse to be the rude guy talking to his phone in a room full of people.
Instead, I’ve had to resort to additional motions in Android to accomplish the single move I used to do in Google Now. I’ve had to add back a Google Search widget to my home screen to have “easy access” to Search. Which, by the way, has me tapping the very button that used to launch Search with a long press.
I don’t want to be mistaken for not liking voice input completely. I love the hands free nature of Android Auto and being able to wake Google Assistant while cooking. However, with an OS dominated by touch screens, I can’t imagine why Google doesn’t allow typing inside Google Assistant. It’s an oversight that I soon hope Google will add in the near future, and it seems entirely possible that the company is already working on it…