As was earlier promised, Google Assistant has begun arriving on Android TV, starting with the NVIDIA Shield. It will then come to Android TV-based Sony Bravia TVs in the coming months, Google says. It’s not clear when/if other Android TV devices will get this capability, however.
“With your Assistant on Android TV, you can jump right into your favorite show, find the latest blockbuster, check the score of the big game, dim the lights and more, all with just your voice,” Google’s Jian Leong writes. “To get started, accept the Google Assistant system update on your SHIELD and press your remote’s mic button after the device restarts. From there, you’re ready to sit back and relax with the help of your Assistant.”
Google Assistant integration on Android TV works as you’d expect. You can say things like “Play Game of Thrones,” “Play business news,” “Turn off,” and even “order more popcorn,” which works with Google Express.
NVIDIA Shield users can update to Google Assistant immediately. Plus, they’ll get a free three-month YouTube Red for ad-free videos and music.
Google announced that it would bring its Google Assistant to Android TV way back in January at CES 2017. But aside from the obviousness of this move, I’m starting to realize the true benefit here, as it provides voice control and Google Cast capabilities in a single device. And that means it can help overcome what I see as Chromecast’s biggest problem, its lack of a remote control. Obviously, Android TV devices do have remotes. But I’m wondering now if this capability could come to some future Chromecast models too.