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Would you still use Google Assistant even if it had ads?

A phone showing a Google Assistant menu, with options for some commands you can make
A phone showing a Google Assistant menu, with options for some commands you can make (Image credit: Android Central)

A few days ago, a story popped up about how one Google Assistant user had an advertisement appear after asking the Assistant a question. Above regular Google Search results was a website being promoted as an ad.

Google later issued a statement saying how it's "always testing new ways to improve the experience on phones, but we don't have anything specific to announce right now." In other words, it didn't really deny that ads could be a part of the Assistant experience at some point.

Here's what some of our AC forum members have to say about potentially getting an ad-supported Assistant.

Better be a bug... I'm cool with a few ads here and there, but DON'T touch my Assistant!

anon(10092459)

Give it to us add free to where we get used to using it, then charge a fee, monthly subscription perhaps to go add free. I wouldn't put it past them, the King of advertising revenues. "Hey Google", what's the weather today? The weather today right after this word from....

cbreze

Google's statement makes it sound more like 'yeah, this wasn't a bug, just a mistake of showing it now'.

SpookDroid

I love my Adguard... :-P

Tim1954

What do you think? Would you still use Google Assistant even if it had ads?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

37 Comments
  • Nope. Would not.
  • Yeah I would turn it off in a heartbeat.
  • I barely use it now because there's a few things I used to do with Google Now that are more complicated with Assistant. Ads would kill it.
  • Absolutely not. If they try to force this on users I would hope they would offer an ad free experience for no more than $1.99 per year. I like the assistant but I hate apps of any kind with ads popping up. Arrrgh!
    Ac is another example of way way too many ads. I pay the yearly fee but you guys bombard us with ads disguised as content. I can live with that but only because I have control over what I choose to read.
  • No. What I should say is it wouldn't get me to use it. I don't use it anyway. The things it is capable of doing I would rather use a dedicated app or website that does it better.
  • I would not use this with ads, if they want to add sponsored results when i search like in regular search fine but dont interfere with me getting the best result i am looking for.
  • Google Now was so much better than assistant. I don't use assistant. Now displayed everything you wanted to see in cards. It was much more useful.
  • Agreed. Love google now. I never use assistant.
  • I would use bixby before an ad filled Google assistant
  • I would use it the exact same amount, which is never.
  • My sentiments exactly. I don't use it now so it'll be less likely I ever do.
  • Noone with a clear mind should do that.
  • No I would not. For the simple reason Google doesn't need to put ads on it, it makes huge money from the data collected from interactions with assistant. Now, if they did something similar to the chrome browser where you could pay money to have ads removed and replaced with kittens, I would pay to have the Google Assistant ad free. But for now I stick to my belief that data from GA is more than enough resources for them to turn a profit.
  • NO! I WOULD NOT.
  • Nope! I Trade off my privacy to use Google! And I am probably going to stop visiting this site if it don't change its policy on unsolicited adds ( which seemed to appear after the last update) Do they not realise how annoying it is to be laid in bed at six a clock in the morning with a coffee and my partner sleeping beside me when a full volume add suddenly jumps up at me!
    To all the lads and lasses at AC your site is no where near good enough to withstand the ill will these adds are creating
  • I agree 100%, about the ads and about not using Google Assistant. I have never enabled it and never will.
    I never thought I would say this, nor ever even think about it but, since Google abandoned Don't Be Evil and becomes more and more intrusive, I'm considering moving to iPhone.
  • Google honestly shouldn't provide ads in any of the services they offer. You might say, wait, but its a free product, they need to recoup costs, etc etc etc. However, this is false. These services are *not* free. Nor are they Google's main product. Google's product is not search, assistant, etc. It's ads. What makes their ads so useful? The amount of data they have, that we've provided to them in exchange for using their products. So we paid for their services. And we're still paying. But now ads are sneaking into all their products. They're basically charging us for a product. Ads should be used to generate revenue for those that are actually giving away their product for free. Google isn't. Android Central is. Will this harm Google's bottom line? Likely, but continually increasing the costs to the customer is a good way to lose business too. You might say they're increasing the amount of services they offer. I just say there's inflation. Our data is their most important resource. It should be respected as such. If it makes them more money, than we should be compensated with more service for that data. If our data wasn't worth so much, they'd easily just offer paid services to consumers akin to G-Suites. However, they'd probably lose money because our data is worth a lot more than anything folks would be willing to pay.
  • I think google (and facebook, etc.) should be required to offer a, ad-free paid tier. If not having ads is worth $100 a month to you, you should have the opportunity to buy out your own ad space.
  • If I could find a way to send them an ad and get paid every time they sent me an ad I'd be ok with it.
  • It depends on how it's done. I definitely wouldn't want any audio based advert (especially on Google Home). If a search result on a screen included an ad, it wouldn't be quite so bad.
  • If they go through that path, I'm off the wagon. Either look for a new assistant, ie. Alexa, Cortana or other, or just finally get fed and move to Apple.
  • I highly recommend Cortana. She already works much better than Google Assistant and having her sync calendar events and info between my phone and PC is awesome. It's a shame Google hamstrings her so much by refusing to give Microsoft deeper access.
  • Nope! This ad crap is getting rediculous...
  • For me, it depends on how it was implemented. Generally, I've found google's ads to be helpful. I search for "pizza" and I get a few ads for nearby pizza places. I don't personally mind that. As long as they are helpful and clearly identified as ads, I'm ok with ads in Google Assistant. There are limitations to that, and we do need regulations in intelligent advertising. We don't need Google's AI diagnosing people and recommending prescription medications, for example. Special restrictions for elderly and children should also apply. But generally speaking, I would probably keep using it as much as I do now.
  • No. Speaking of ads, I'm getting ready to stop using Android Central since y'all insist on having full screen ads pop up when opening an article. Seriously, which one of you thought that was a good idea?
  • So many folks complain about this! Get an ad blocker and be done with it.
  • I block EVERY SINGLE AD I can on all my machines. If Google will introduce something in Assistant I will happily find solution that will block it. I can always go to Amazon. Simple choices...
  • I don't use it as it is! That data kraken doesn't get much from me anymore! And as long as I have two healthy hands I don't need neither woman nor assistant!
  • Oh, and BTW, what are ads? Haven't seen them in years on my devices!
  • Don't use it now. Wouldn't use it then. Bixby, FTW...
  • No I’d have to pay to have them turned off.
  • Only if I could turn them off. I paid good money to buy a Pixel 2, so don't feed like I'd want to be subjected to personalised ads 😁
  • I would not use it! Please don't destroy what is already good.
  • Absolutely not! Is nothing sacred to Google? If the Google Assistant started coming at me with ads I'd find a new assistant!!!
  • I don't use it now, so...
  • It's ok as it is, with any adds I won't be using it, there's loads of other option out there add free
  • How ironic - Reading this on your Android app and then rudely interrupted by a full page ad. 😈