On Pixel, the Google Assistant’s “TNG” glitch opens the keyboard rather than the voice input.

Recently, Pixel owners have been experiencing an issue where Google Assistant always prioritizes keyboard input over voice input and displays TNG in the bottom-left corner of their screens.

For those who are impacted, starting Assistant by pressing the power button, swiping in from the corner, selecting the microphone icon from the Pixel Launcher search bar, or saying “Hey Google” always opens the keyboard. Even if Assistant Settings andgt; General andgt; Preferred input is set to Voice, this is still taking place. Changing approaches won’t make the problem go away.

Not all users are impacted by this issue, although an number of people are. On the Google app beta channel (version 13.33), we haven’t been able to duplicate it using other Pixel phones and accounts.

Users are confined to tapping the voice microphone during this bug, which makes Assistant obviously not hands-free and requires an additional step in the search/command process. Given that, Google is probably working on a quick remedy, which should be resolved by a server-side update. Updates to the Google app shouldn’t be removed because they can interfere with other Assistant functionality.

A purple rectangle with the letters TNG in the bottom-left corner of the Assistant pane represents people who are now experiencing this issue as also seeing . This is a cross-reference between Google’s terminology for next-generation enhancements to current products and Star Trek: The Next Generation. This suggests that a new Assistant is being tested out by users as part of an early launch or A/B test, although there aren’t any reports of new capabilities just yet. (However, those who see the TNG badge should check to see if the instructions and results appear different.)

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