Google’s voice search button on Android is being replaced with Google Assistant.
This includes the voice search shortcut triggered by “OK Google,” the microphone button on the home screen widget, and the microphone button within the Google app itself.
In addition to conducting web searches, the voice search button on Android could also be used to perform actions such as calls, texts, emails, and music.
Now, with the integration of Google Assistant, all previous voice search shortcuts can now be used to do more advanced things like control smart home devices and perform actions with third-party apps.
Android Police reports that this has been verified using three different devices all running different versions of Android. The publication offers a possible explanation for why this change has been made:
”[Voice search] caused a divergent and inconsistent experience on devices that had Assistant: users likely didn’t know why one voice search was popping from the bottom of the screen and the other from the top, nor why one of them did things the other couldn’t. Now it appears that Google is phasing out the old Voice Search experience, at least on devices where Assistant is activated.“
Traditional voice search may still be available on devices that do not have Google Assistant enabled.