Latest Google app beta breaks Pixel 4’s new Google Assistant

Historically, Google app betas are stable and lack any major bugs. That is not the case this week, with Google app 10.90 breaking the new Assistant exclusively found on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

The issue starts when trying to launch Assistant. Active Edge and swiping up from the bottom corners does show the light bar, but there’s only a white semi-transparent panel. Doing this repeatedly might yield a “Assistant will be ready soon…” message, but nothing occurs. Meanwhile, the “Hey Google” hotword or tapping the icon on the Pixel Launcher’s search bar does not activate.

The underlying bug is Assistant not being able to accept voice input. Interestingly, you can pull up keyboard entry by going to Updates and choosing one of the commands in the top carousel of suggestions. This brings up an Assistant UI (third and fourth screenshots below) that lacks a working microphone. Text commands do work and fire like usual.

Assistant-related features — including Lens and the Updates feed — work normally on Otherwise, Search, Weather, and Podcasts are operational. Assistant settings are still accessible, but no changes apply.

If you need verbal commands, the old voice search is still accessible for setting timers and doing other basic functionality. The latest Google app beta does not appear to break Assistant on older devices that we updated.

It started rolling out on Monday evening, and is unfortunately timed for the holidays as a new Google app version is likely needed. There is currently no workaround — beyond uninstalling, leaving the beta, and downloading the stable. Hopefully, Google addresses the Pixel 4’s signature Assistant feature breaking before people start receiving the devices as gifts this week.

With December’s Pixel feature drop, the new Google Assistant started rolling out to UK, Canada, and three other countries. Leveraging on-device voice recognition models, it’s faster than the iteration it replaces, thus increasing the likelihood that you’ll verbally interact with the Pixel 4.

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