The Google Assistant is one of the most widely used voice assistants in the world. Although it supports a wide range of products, including smartphones, smart displays, smart speakers, and other smart home devices, desktop support has always been an issue. . Google hasn’t shown any interest in bringing Assistant to desktops and laptops, except for Chromebooks. If you’re looking for a way to use the Google Assistant on your Windows, macOS, or Linux machine, there’s good news. A Melvin developer based in Chennai. L. Abraham built a cross-platform unofficial Google Assistant desktop client based on the Google Assistant SDK. Today we are going to show you the steps to set it up and use the Google Assistant on your PC.

Use the Google Assistant on Windows, macOS, and Linux

The Google Assistant activation process may seem a bit complicated at first sight. However, if you allow a few minutes to follow the steps, you can easily set it up and start using Google Assistant to control your PC. Another aspect worth mentioning is that this the client is under development, and as a result, you may encounter occasional bugs while using it.

1. Register device to use Google Assistant on PC

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

2. Install the Assistant application on your PC. At this point it won’t work on your PC and you need to configure the backend first. To do this, open the Action Console from your web browser and click on “New project”. You must sign in with your Google Account to access Actions Console.

3. Go through the Google Terms of Service, choose the “Yes” button and click on “Accept and continue”.

4. When the New Project pop-up window appears, define a new project name, choose the language and your region. After filling in these details, click on the ‘Create a project’ button.

5. Shortly after clicking Create Project, a page to help you set it up appears. From there scroll down and you will notice a device registration option. Click on the “Click here” hyperlink.

6. You will now be redirected to the device registration page. Click the button that says “Save Template” for further.

7. You should now set product name, manufacturer name and device type. The developer says you can set any type of device. I used TV as the device type and you can choose any other device type if you prefer. When done, click the “Save Template” button.

8. We have now reached an important step where you need to download the key file. It will be a ‘.json’ file and you will need this file later to configure the client. Click the ‘Download OAuth 2.0 Credentials’ button to download this file.

2. Enable Google Assistant API and setup consent screen

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

2. Now you need to choose the project you created earlier. Do this, click on the ‘All’ tab, locate the project and press the Open button.

3. In the left menu of GCP, click on ‘APIs and services’ to enable the Google Assistant API.

4. From the dashboard, click on “Enable applications and services”. You will now be redirected to the API Library page.

5. On the API Library search page, type Google Assistant and choose “Google Assistant API”.

6. Click on the “Activate” button to enable the Google Assistant API.

7. When the Google Assistant API page opens, skip to Credentials section in the left sidebar and click “Configure Consent Screen”.

8. When you are in the OAuth consent screen, set “External” as user type and click “Create”.

9. On the app info page, choose your email address in the user support email section.

10. Without leaving the page, scroll down, enter your email address in the developer contact information box, and click “Save and Continue”.

11. You don’t have to modify anything on the “Scopes” page. Click on ‘Save and continue’ to go to the next step.

12. The same applies to optional information. Click Save and Continue for further.

13. On the page that now appears, click on the ‘Add users’ button to add test users.

14. You should now add users with email address. As the client developer points out, you can add multiple users by separating email IDs with a comma. I used the email address I used in this setup process. Once done, click save.

3. Set up Google Assistant client authentication

You have now prepared your PC to run the wizard as you have already completed device registration and configured the API consent screen. With a few more steps, you can start using the Google Assistant on your PC.

1. Open the Google Assistant client that you have installed and go to settings by clicking the gear icon in the top left corner of the app.

2. Now you need to use the OAuth 2.0 credentials .json file you downloaded earlier. Click the Browse button under the Authentication section and set the JSON file path to “Key file path”. You can leave the “Saved Token Path” blank.

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

4. The application will now ask you if you want to automatically set the path for saved tokens. Click on the option ‘Set a path automatically’ go forward.

5. Now you need to restart the application. To do this, click on the ‘Relaunch the wizard’ button in the lower left corner.

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

7. Proceed to the authentication page and choose your google account to allow permissions.

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

9. You will now see an authentication code. Click the Copy button to copy it to your system clipboard.

10. Return to the client application and paste the code in the given domain and click submit.

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

4. Google Assistant customer impressions

Although unofficial, the Google Assistant client is well designed. It looks sleek, 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, including searches, weather checks, and smart home commands. On Windows machines, you can access the client with the keyboard shortcut ‘Windows + Shift + A“.

On the app settings page, you have the option to change several aspects of the app to suit your preferences. For example, you can choose to keep the app always on top of other apps for quick access. If you want a light theme, you can change the theme from the settings.

I also tried playing a few Google Assistant games to test its capabilities and it worked great. Below is the Google Assistant game “Are you lucky?” via Assistant on a Windows 10 PC:

However, there are a bunch of caveats. You unable to use app to play music from music streaming services, play YouTube videos or Netflix movies and TV shows, or launch apps. Also, you can’t use the Hey Google / Ok Google command to trigger the Assistant. Instead, you’ll have to manually open the app to type or use voice commands. That said, keyword detection is on the project’s to-do list, and it might happen in the future.

Try Google Assistant on your PC

If you would like to contribute to this open source project, you can do so from the project’s GitHub page. It remains to be seen if Google will ever create desktop Assistant clients for other platforms, but until that happens you can check it out and see if you find it useful. To test all the features of the app, check out our best Google Assistant tips article and give them a try.