Today, Google officially announced the arrival of Google Assistant on Android TV!
News of Google bringing its Google Assistant on Android TV was first reported early January of this year. Back then, the tech company announced that the Assistant would be rolled out to all Android TVs in the United States on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Nougat, including the AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos lineup, Sony Bravia series of Android TVs, Xiaomi Mi Box, and more.
Eight months after the announcement, Google finally confirmed the deployment of the Assistant on Android TV starting with NVIDIA Shield TV. In a blog published by Jian Leong, Associate Product Manager of Google Assistant, Jian said:
“Your Google Assistant is now available on Android TV, starting with NVIDIA SHIELD TV today and Sony Bravia TVs in the coming months.”
“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.”#GoogleAssistant is now on NVIDIA Shield Android TV! Upgrade now available in the U.S.Click To Tweet
Google Assistant on Android TV: What to Expect
If you own NVIDIA Shield Android TV, you’ll get the Google Assistant by accepting the NVIDIA 6.0 software update. The software update also includes always-on hands-free voice activation Nvidia Shield which could be enabled through the NVIDIA Shield game controller.
This particular update would allow you wake up your NVIDIA Android TV by saying the magic word “OK Google” on the sensitive microphones of the controller. Once awake, you can begin issuing voice commands directly to Assistant, in the same manner, that you would with a Pixel smartphone or Google Home.
If you’re not much of a talker, you can also trigger Google Assistant by using your TV remote. It’s the thinner wand-like device that comes with a less expensive bundle, or with the game controller on a more expensive option. However, using the remote would require you to press the microphone button before giving out your commands.
While some would say that the Google Assistant on Android TV, NVIDIA Shield for that matter, resembles the Google Voice Search already found in prior versions, the Assistant has been equipped with more enhancements, cleaner visual designs, and more functionalities.
Apart from all the amazing features such as timers, alarms, and phone calls, Google Assistant could also perform all its Google Home tasks on NVIDIA Shield TV.
It can cast audio to the Google Home or other Google Cast speakers, and you can use it to adjust the volume of your TV or play, fast-forward, and skip a scene while you’re watching.
What’s even more wonderful is that Google Assistant could display information cards on the Shield TV, the same way it does on a Google smartphone. The Assistant is also contextually aware. Meaning, you can ask a series of questions about any particular topic without having to repeat the information you already mentioned.
For instance, you can ask about something from a year ago like what TV shows won the Emmy’s, and then follow up with another query like “Who won the award for best actress in a drama series?”
You can also take advantage of the NVIDIA Shield TV’s huge screen by letting Assistant check your calendar, or display a collection of your Google photos. If you’re wondering what other things a Google Assistant on Android TV could do, here they are.
- “Play Game of Thrones”— your Assistant can play a wide variety of content, from movies and TV shows to YouTube clips and music. With HBO NOW, Netflix and YouTube, you can instantly watch something by asking for it by name or, if you aren’t sure what to watch, try “show me movies about climbing Mount Everest.” You can also ask your Assistant to “play some music” or listen to a specific song on YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify or Pandora.
- “Play business news”— catch up on what’s going on in the news, from business to tech to entertainment. And once you’re caught up, prepare for your own day by asking “what’s on my agenda for today?”
- “Talk to Fitstar”— apps for the Google Assistant are also now available on Android TV, so you can talk to Fitstar for a quick home workout, Tender for a cocktail recommendation, Wall Street Journal for a market update, and more.
- “Order more popcorn”— stock up on binge-watching snacks right from the comfort of your couch. With Google Express, you can shop and reorder from Walgreens, Walmart, and many other stores.
- “Turn off”— it’s as simple as that. With your Assistant on Android TV, you can turn up the volume, pause, control your smart home devices and more, just with your voice.
Google is also offering a free three-month YouTube Red trial on SHIELD as a way to celebrate the arrival of Google Assistant on Android TV.
“Also, to celebrate the arrival of the Google Assistant on Android TV, we’re offering a free three-month YouTube Red trial on SHIELD, so you can watch ad-free videos and listen to uninterrupted music with your Assistant (try saying “play 4K videos on YouTube”).”