Near the beginning of the 2017 year, Google announced that its AI technology, the Google Assistant, would become part of Android devices of all kinds. At the time, the Google Assistant was working in Allo and exclusive to Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The voice assistant technology that improves using machine learning recently expanded to Android Wear, Android devices running Marshmallow or newer, and even certain Apple iPhone models. Today, the virtual assistant seems to be making its way over to the Android TV platform.
Google is urging the developer community and third-parties to take advantage of the Actions on Google program and Google Assistant SDK to build the technology into apps and hardware of their own. Google hasn’t exactly finished its own part yet, though this week was a step in the right direction. The digital personal assistant has begun rolling out to Android TV devices as of this week.
With the update, Google Assistant becomes the heart and soul that drives the Android TV experience, and it’s super easy to use and take good advantage off. Google demoed some of its capabilities during Google I/O 2017, and soon enough, most of us will have access to the new features in our own living room. You’ll be able to control most aspects of the Android TV interface. For example, using voice commands to hear content recommendations, play, pause or change the volume of video, hear the news, control connected smart home equipment, and ask for information related to a particular film or what’s actively being shown on-screen. Best of all, it’s very conversational, meaning you won’t have to repeat phrases in order for Google to understand what you’re talking about.
The first device to benefit from the search giant’s Google Assistant technology is NVIDIA’s Shield TV. The update is rolling out now in the form of Experience Upgrade 6.0, an update that brings some other neat stuff too that you’ll definitely want to check out. Sony also confirmed that its Bravia TVs will be updated with the latest software “in the coming months.” The update is being administered out directly to consoles, or the TVs themselves in the case you have it pre-installed. You’ll see it appear as an available OTA update in settings.