Before Assistant, Google had “Voice search” capabilities that were closely integrated with full on Search. Over the past several years, all innovation has been focussed on Assistant and Google is now in the process of fully replacing Voice search on Android.
Before today’s change, the old “Voice search” could still be accessed through the Google app, Search bar widget, or app shortcut. The microphone icon in those three locations would immediately perform a Google Search and offer built-in Search cards as results. Assistant’s predecessor was more synonymous with the “Ok Google” hotword.
The Voice search icon has now been replaced with the g-shaped Assistant icon, while the old “Say Hey Google” prompt now says “Ask your Assistant.” Accessing still brings up the old interface, but the query is performed by Assistant and results open in the slide-up panel. The updated search widget now matches the field at the bottom of the Pixel Launcher.