Sony Europe has confirmed that Google Assistant is finally rolling out on select Android TVs in the UK, with France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands to follow later this year.
Updated 25.6.2018: Sony UK has confirmed that Google Assistant is also rolling out to the following 2017 and 2016 models: SD80, WD80, XD70, XD75, XD83, ZD9, XE80, XE85, XE90, XE93, XE94, A1
Google Assistant on Sony TVs
It has taken a long time to get here. Amazon Alexa arrived on Sony Android TVs before Google Assistant did. And Google’s voice assistant landed on LG webOS TVs before it arrived on Sony TVs.
Why? Sony is not saying but the company has finally started to roll out Google Assistant in Europe. It was released in the US in November 2017. At launch, Assistant will be limited to 2018 Sony Android TVs (AF8, XF90, XF85, XF83, XF80, XF78, XF75) and will start its tour in the UK. Next up are France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
- “The Google Assistant will begin to roll out across a selection of Sony televisions in the UK today, with completion on all compatible models expected in June 2018. Additionally, later this year, The Google Assistant will launch in France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands,” announced Sony Europe.
In the US, Assistant is also compatible with 2016 and 2017 Sony Android TVs so it is not clear why it is currently limited to the latest models in Europe. We are chasing answers.
Assistant is Google’s voice system that lets you control the TV and connected home devices through voice commands. Assistant enables you to search for movies or TV shows on your TV by pressing the microphone button on the remote control and saying “play Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on Google Play”, the company explained. It will also let you rent good movies.
Google says that Assistant can now control more than 1500 compatible smart home devices from over 225 brands. Earlier this year, the company announced that Assistant will speak more than 30 languages in 2018 so besides the confirmed countries, we expect it to reach more regions in the near future.
Assistant is one of several voice systems available in TVs. Like Amazon Alexa, Google is not limiting it to select brands or models, whereas Siri is exclusive to Apple TV and Bixby is exclusive to Samsung TVs. You may recall that TV manufacturers some years ago introduced voice systems based on a generic implementation from Nuance that failed to catch on. They have now turned to the software giants for help.