If you’ve ever had to send a text while driving or set a timer while cooking, you know how helpful Google Assistant can be. It’s as essential a tool as anything else you’ll find on your phone, and since it’s built right into the standard Google app, you can be confident it’s on every Android device. Of course, Google offers a dedicated Assistant shortcut app in the Play Store, and while it’s not necessary, it sure is popular. Less than a year after its last milestone, Assistant has hit 500 million installs on the Play Store.

That’s a shockingly large increase for an app that is, effectively, just a way to put Assistant in your app drawer or on your home screen. While there are definitely uses for installing a shortcut app like this, it’s only pre-installed on certain phones.

To its credit, Google does put a short statement at the bottom of its Play Store description to make it clear the app isn’t required if you’re running a phone with Assistant built-in. That notice is, of course, buried beneath countless examples of how the app can give you directions, play your favorite songs, simplify your life, and even cook you breakfast, so it seems unlikely that most of its users even saw it.

But hey, there are a few reasons to have this version of Assistant on your phone. Having a quick shortcut to voice commands that isn’t the full Google search bar can be convenient, and as we pointed out last year, it can make for an easy way to get to Assistant settings.

Whatever the reason, people genuinely love this dedicated app. If you’re interested in joining this elite club of 500 million other users, just head to the Play Store using the link below or download the latest APK from APKMirror.

Google Assistant - Get things done, hands-free
Google Assistant - Get things done, hands-free