Even though there’s ostensibly One Google Brain behind all of it,
the different lobes don’t always seem to be talking to each other.
That confusion extends to the various ways that Google exists on
the Pixel itself. You can only speak to the Assistant, for
example, not type at it. Except that you can type at it in Allo,
Google’s chat app. You can also tap the Google search button on
the home screen to type queries, but that’s not technically the
Assistant. Oh, and Google Now, the predictive information stream,
still sits to the left of your main home screen.
That’s four different ways to talk to Google on this phone, not
counting apps like Maps and Gmail. And each one has a slightly
different interface and provides slightly different results. For
example, the Assistant can’t recognize songs yet, but asking the
exact same question with the Google search button works fine.
To be very clear: the Google Assistant is absolutely the smartest
of the assistant bunch, but it’s not yet in a class of its own.
Bohn calls the Pixels a “home run”, and also has very good words regarding the camera. I quoted the above passage, though, because it suggests some rough edges regarding what is supposed to be the Pixel’s standout feature.