Google, after expanding the Google Assistant to most Android Marshmallow and above running smartphones, has now brought the feature to Android TVs – something it had announced back at CES 2017. The Google Assistant feature will be available on Nvidia Shield TV – also announced at CES 2017 – owners first before rolling to Sony Bravia TVs in the coming months.
With Google Assistant on Android TV, users can watch their favourite shows, and otherwise control the TV, with the help of voice commands. The hands-free experience will be available to Shield TV users starting Thursday. Nvidia Shield TV users will have to accept a Google Assistant system update, and can activate Assistant by pressing the TV remote’s mic button.
Google, to celebrate the arrival of Assistant on Android TV, is offering a free three month YouTube Red trial to Shield users where they can enjoy ad-free videos. Voice commands like “play 4K videos on YouTube” will work fine on Shield TV.
Separately, the new Google app version 7.12 teardown has revealed new features coming to Android-powered devices including a customisable ‘Google Bar’ and the upcoming Google Lens, announced at Google I/O this year. The new Google Bar is said to come with two options “Customise” where users will be to change look of the bar, and “Send Feedback”.
The new Google app teardown also reveals upcoming Google Lens feature which is basically a set of vision based computing capabilities that can understand what user is looking at and take actions based on that information. The teardown by 9to5google reveals that Google Lens can be launched by Assistant or the new customisable bar.
Google Lens will offer contextual information it can gather from the Internet. Folks at 9to5Google claim that the feature didn’t work flawlessly, and had some issues. We can expect the feature to be more polished by the time Google decides to launch it officially.