How to enable Google Assistant in Android Lollipop and Marshmallow without Rooting
How to enable Google Assistant in Android Lollipop and Marshmallow without Rooting

If you’re one of those disappointed Android users who are stuck to using Google Allo to access Google Assistant, you know the hassle of opening the app and looking for Assistant on your Allo inbox. Sure there are some workarounds on the internet on how to get this feature fully working with your “incompatible” handset but all of them requires root access, which I don’t think is a great idea.

If you don’t want to root your Android device as it’s under warranty, you can try this method. Even I own a device running Android Lollipop. I tried using Cortana on Android as my everyday virtual assistant but it is not as flawless as it was on my old Lumia device. So I really appreciate the effort of our friends from XDA who are able to find a workaround for this problem without having to root your handset.

Tested Device: Lenovo K5 Note and Alcatel OT Pop 3 5.0

If you meet the aforementioned specification, you would likely be able to successfully run Google Assistant on your device. And I expect higher-end devices to do as well. You would also need either one of these things:

Required Apps:

Activity Launcher
Activity Launcher
Developer: Adam Szalkowski
Price: Free

OR

Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher
Price: Free

Note: To successfully configure your Google Assistant, you must have an active mobile data or WiFi.

Method #1: Enable Google Assistant Using Activity Launcher

Step 1. Launch Activity Launcher.

Step 2. Tap on “Recent Activities“, tab up top and select “All Activities“. Wait until it loads.

Step 3. Find the Google App. Then tap it to expand the activities.

Step 4. Now you would be able to see all the activities under the Google App. Look for a certain activity called ” Google Assistant “. You would likely be seeing more than two activities called “Google Assistant”. Find the one that has “com.Google.android. apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.HQ.OpaHqActivity” below. Tapping it would create a shortcut to your homescreen.

Enable Google Assistant on Android Lollipop and above devices
Enable Google Assistant on Android Lollipop and above devices

Step 5. Now that you have that shortcut available on your homescreen, tap it to launch the Google Assistant.

Step 6. The Google Assistant will configure itself in a minute or two. It will then ask you to say the hotword “OK Google” thrice. This would allow you to launch your Google Assistant hands-free.

Google Assistant Enabled on Android Lollipop without Rooting
Google Assistant Enabled on Android Lollipop without Rooting

Step 7. Congrats! You may now use your Google Assistant.

If Method #1 doesn’t work, proceed with Method #2. This will be our last option.

Method #2Enable Google Assistant Using Nova Launcher

Step 1. Find and empty spot on your homescreen and long press it to add new widget.

Step 2. Look for Nova Launcher and swipe left to find the “Activity” widget.

Step 3. Drag the widget to your homescreen.

Step 4. Now that you have the widget available on your homescreen, tap it and wait until it loads up all the activities.

Install Google Assistant in Android Lollipop without rooting using Nova launcherStep 5. Look for Google App and tap it to reveal all the activities. Just like the Method #1, look for the activity called “Google Assistant”. There are about three of them so make sure you look for the one that has “com.Google.android. apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.HQ.OpaHqActivity” below. Tap or to create a shortcut to your homescreen.

Step 6. Now, you may be able to see the Google Assistant logo. Tap it and let it configure itself for about a minute or two.

Step 7. Google may now take you to hotword setup where you will be ask to say “OK Google” thrice.

Google Assistant Enabled on Android Lollipop without Rooting
Google Assistant Enabled on Android Lollipop without Rooting

Congrats! Google Assistant may now appear on your screen. Ready to serve you.

The given methods are slightly different from the one in original XDA Developers post as it is made for tablet devices. You can now press your Home button to launch Google Assistant in your device. But saying “OK Google” will take you to the default Google voice search. Incase the given methods didn’t work properly on your device, don’t hesitate to tell us in the comment section below so we can assist you. 

  • Sarah Matthews

    Found that you also need to ho to the phone settings language & input also change this to english us

  • Sarah Matthews

    On my s5 neo it doesn’t start google assistant in that way. It seems to have a screen eith explore and one with my stuff. For chat still need assistant

    • Now, Goto Google App > Slide right for settings > Voice > Enable OK Google Detection. Now Long press Home button to start Google Assistant.