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Google Assistant Coming to Android TVs; Will Come to Android Wear and Other Platforms 'Over Time'

Google Assistant Coming to Android TVs; Will Come to Android Wear and Other Platforms 'Over Time'
  • Google Assistant will require Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher
  • New Shield to be first Android TV with "hands-free Assistant experience"
  • Can be used to play or search media content using voice commands

Google Assistant, which is already available on company's Pixel smartphones and Google Home, apart from the Google Allo app, will now be making its way to supported Android TV devices in the US through an update in coming months, the search giant announced at CES on Thursday. The Assistant can be used to play or search media content, answer queries, and perform other tasks in response to the user's voice commands.

The search giant's artificial intelligence-based digital assistant will be made available for Nvidia's new Shield as well as other Android TVs running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher, including AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos, Sony Bravia, and Xiaomi Mi Box. However, Shield will be the first among Android TVs to get "hands-free Assistant experience," Google said on its official blog.

Google has further said that Google Assistant will be making its way to other Android platforms "over time" but did not provide any specific timeline. "Over time, you'll also see the Assistant come to other new surfaces, like smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0, Android-powered in-car infotainment systems, and many other types of devices through the Embedded Google Assistant SDK," it said.

One of the most interesting features of Google Assistant is its ability to handle follow-up questions. Unlike some other digital assistants, the search giant's Assistant is able understand the wider context and is able to correlate the questions asked by the user. This ability has provided an edge to Google Assistant but Amazon is trying to play a catch up game as the company recently provided similar functionality to Alexa with its latest update. However, some users have reported that Alexa is still not able to handle some complicated questions while Assistant can tackle them with relative ease.


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