How to Use Google Assistant on Windows, macOS and Linux

Google Assistant is one of the most widely used voice assistants in the world. Despite supporting a wide range of products including smartphones, smart displays, smart speakers and other smart home devices, support for desktop computers has always been a hassle. Google has shown no interest in bringing Assistant to desktops and laptops, aside from Chromebooks. If you are someone who is looking for a way to use Google Assistant on your Windows, macOS or Linux machine, we have good news for you. Melvin, a Chennai-based developer. L. Abraham built unofficial cross-platform Google Assistant desktop client It is based on the Google Assistant SDK. Today, we’re going to show you the steps to set up and use Google Assistant on your PC.

Use Google Assistant on Windows, macOS and Linux

The process of activating Google Assistant may seem a bit complicated at first glance. But if you take a few moments to follow the steps, you can easily set it up and start using Google Assistant to control your computer. Another thing to mention is that client is under developmentand therefore you may encounter occasional errors while using it.

1. Register Device to Use Google Assistant on PC

1. To get started, download the latest version of the desktop client from GitHub to your PC. I’m using a Windows 10 machine for this demo, but you can download one based on your system’s operating system.

2. Install the Assistant app on your PC. At this stage it will not run on your PC and you need to configure the backend first. To do this, hungry Actions Console from your web browser and Click ‘New Project’. You must sign in with your Google account to access the Actions Console.

open operations console

3. Review Google’s terms of service, select the “Yes” button and Click ‘Accept and continue’.

accept google tos

4. When the New Project popup appears, set a new project name, choose your language and region. After filling this information, Click the ‘Create project’ button.

create new project and name it

5. Shortly after you click Create project, a page will appear to help you set it up. Scroll down from here and get a option for device registration. Click on the ‘click here’ hyperlink.

assistive device registration

6. You will now be redirected to the device registration page. Click the button that says ‘Save Model’ to go further.

device registration page for assistant

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7. You must do it now set product name, manufacturer name and device type. The developer says you can set any device type. I used TV as device type and you can choose another device type if you want. Once complete, click the ‘Save Model’ button.

name the device and set the device type

8. We have come to an important stage where you need to download the key file. This will be a ‘.json’ file, which you will need later to configure the client. Click the ‘Download OAuth 2.0 credentials’ button to download this file.

download oauth 2.0 credentials

2. Enable Google Assistant API and Set Confirmation Screen

1. Open Console of Google Cloud Platform and click the drop down menu next to the GCP logo in the upper left corner.

choose a project gcp

2. Now you have to select the project you created earlier. By doing so, Click on the ‘All’ tabfind the project and press the open button.

select and open project gcp

3. From the left side menu of GCP, Click on ‘APIs and Services’ To enable the Google Assistant API.

open apis and services section

4. From the Control Panel, Click ‘Enable Apps and Services’. You will now be redirected to the API library page.

enable apis and services

5. In the search page of the API Library, type Google Assistant and Select ‘Google Assistant API’.

Google Assistant API from API library

6. Click the ‘Activate’ button To enable the Google Assistant API.

enable google assistant api

7. When the Google Assistant API page opens, Skip to the Credentials section from the left sidebar and click ‘Configure Confirmation Screen’.

configure confirmation screen8. While on the OAuth permission screen, set ‘External’ as user type and click ‘Create’.

oauth confirmation screen

9. On the application information page, select your email in the user support email section.

add user support email

10. Scroll down without leaving the page, enter your email address in the developer contact information box, and click ‘Save and Continue’.

add developer contact information

11. You don’t need to change anything on the ‘Scopes’ page. Click ‘Save and Continue’ to go to the next step

skip scopes

12. The same applies to Optional Information. Click on Save and Continue to go further.

skip optional information

13. On the page that now appears, Click the ‘Add user’ button to add testers

add testers

14. You must do it now add users by email address. As noted by the client’s developer, you can add multiple users by separating their email IDs with commas. I used the email address I used during this setup process. Once done, Click Save.

add user for app

3. Set up Google Assistant Client Authentication

Now that you have completed the device enrollment and configured the API’s confirmation screen, you are now ready to run the Assistant on your computer. With a few additional steps, you can start using Google Assistant on your PC.

one. Open the Google Assistant client you uploaded and go to settings by clicking the gear icon in the top left corner of the app.

open settings of google assistant client

2. You should now use the OAuth 2.0 credentials .json file you downloaded earlier. Click the Browse button under the Authentication section and Set the path of the JSON file to ‘Key File Path’. You can do Leave ‘Registered Token Path’ blank.

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set key file path

3. After setting the path, Click the save button.

save key file path

4. The application will now ask if you want to automatically set the path of the saved tokens. Click on ‘Automatically set a path’ to continue.

automatically set token path

5. Now you must restart the application. To do this, Click the ‘Restart Assistant’ button in the lower left corner.

click on restart assistant

6. When the app opens again, you will see a page asking you to paste the authentication code. At the same time, a new authentication page opens in your default web browser.

get token assistant client

7. Switch to the authentication page and Choose your Google account to allow permissions.

authentication using google account

8. Click ‘Allow’ To grant Google Assistant permissions.

grant assistant permissions

9. You will now see a verification code. Click the copy button to copy to your system’s clipboard

copy authentication code

10. Go back to the client application and paste the code in the given area and Click Submit.

send authentication code

11. You can now restart Assistant to finally start using it. Click the ‘Restart Assistant’ button to do this.

restart assistant after auth code

4. Google Assistant Customer Impressions

While unofficial, the Google Assistant client is well-designed. It looks elegant, has rounded corners and you can resize the app horizontally and vertically. You can use the app to issue a variety of basic voice commands such as calls, checking the weather, and smart home controls. On Windows machines you can: access client with keyboard shortcut ‘Windows+Shift+A’.’

check weather assistant client

On the app’s settings page, you have options to adjust various aspects of the app to your preference. For example, you can choose to always keep the app on top of other apps for quick access. If you want a light theme, you can change the themes from the settings.

google assistant client settings

I also tried playing a few Google Assistant games to test its capabilities and it worked just fine. Below is the Google Assistant game ‘Are you feeling lucky?’ Via Assistant on a Windows 10 PC:

games in assistant client

However, there are a lot of caveats. Joyful you cannot use the app to play music Play YouTube videos or Netflix movies and TV shows from music streaming services or launch apps. Also, you cannot use the Hey Google / Ok Google command to trigger the Assistant. Instead, you have to manually open the app to type or use voice commands. However, custom word detection is on the project’s to-do list and may come in the future.

assistant client upcoming features

Try Google Assistant on your PC

If you want to contribute to this open source project, you can do so at: project’s GitHub page. It remains to be seen if Google creates desktop Assistant clients for other platforms, but until that happens, you can check this out and see if you find it useful. To test all the features of the app, check out our article on the best Google Assistant cheats and try them out.