Google recently introduced one-tap access to Google Assistant from its mobile search engine webpage, presumably because being able to trigger it from the home screen or a physical button from every single device ever is a good thing. And if the device you held didn't have the assistant, the link would take you to a page where you could download it. Well, that link seems to have been broken.
See, when you tap on a Google service from the mobile version of Google.com, you'll either get "deeplinked" to the corresponding mobile application or moved to an associated web app or webpage. When tapping on the the 3x3 grid icon and selecting "Maps," for example, you get taken to the Google Maps app if you have it downloaded.
As of press time, this is what you'll see when tapping the Assistant icon: a Firebase error page saying that Google hasn't configured its DynamicLink for the subdomain correctly. We knew that the icon worked as the other deeplinks did prior to this episode, so we might infer that Google's doing some tweaking behind the scenes — though the possibilities are too wide open at this point for us to make an educated guess as to the objective.
Separately, our Rita El-Khoury has previously theorized about having a web-based version of Google Assistant so that people who don't use Android, Chrome OS, or KaiOS can access the service with fewer taps. It's a little bit like how any Chrome desktop user can set reminders through the browser — a matter of convenience. And if Google would like to make things more convenient for people standing outside of its dome to use its services, well, there's a move it can pull off.
The link is now functioning properly again. It delivers mobile users to their native Google Assistant experience or to the app listing.