Code discovered on the Android Developers website indicates that the Google Assistant can be activated inside third-party apps in Android 8.0 Oreo. This means developers can give users the ability to interact with the virtual assistant without having to close their app.
Right now, to use most virtual assistants on your Android smartphone, you typically have to stop whatever you’re doing and return to the home screen first. But with Oreo, the Google Assistant could be more like Siri, popping up above whatever app you’re using and allowing you to quickly return to where you were when you’re done.
“So with the update to Android Oreo, applications are now able to launch Google Assistant directly from within the application,” explains XDA Developers, which first discovered the change. “Just like we can launch Google Assistant with a long press of the home button or even with a hotword, 3rd-party applications will be able to do this from within the application itself.”
“This new activity will be displayed in a layer on top of other activities, and it shouldn’t be affected by multi-window at all.” And because Android lets you use other assistants as your default, the same functionality should also be possible with third-party options like Cortana.
This is a great change for everyone. For Google, it should mean that more people use the Assistant because they don’t have to worry about interrupting what they’re doing. For developers, it means users won’t be taken away from their app when they need a question answered or a reminder created. For users, it makes using the Assistant much more seamless.