Samsung has announced a breakthrough for its smart TVs released in 2020.
Google Assistant has been added to the available voice assistants on those TVs, along with Samsung’s own Bixby assistant, as well as Amazon Alexa. The change goes into effect immediately for customers with QLED-based 4K and 8K TVs from this year, including the Crystal UHD TVs, The Frame, The Serif, The Sero and The Terrace.
Google Assistant brings Samsung TV owners access to all of the major Google functions, including Search, Photos, Maps and others. It’s also great news for the many Samsung users who truly despise the Bixby product and prefer not to use it.
“The use of voice assistants on our Smart TVs has grown exponentially since Bixby’s launch in 2018,” Seline Han, Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics said in the announcement. “With Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa now supported, we are inviting our consumers to ask even more of their Smart TVs.”
Google had said in a blog post earlier this year that Google Assistant was coming to Samsung TVs. Reports in July also stated that Samsung was in talks to add Google Assistant to Samsung phones, although there’s been no announcement of such a deal, and the new announcement applies only to this year’s Samsung TVs.
“By bringing Google Assistant to Samsung Smart TVs, we want to connect your living room with the rest of the smart home and help you better manage your day, across your favorite Google services,” Jack Krawczyk Director, Product Management for Google Assistant, said in the announcement. “With our collaboration with Samsung, we are able to offer help from Google assistant to more people around the world right from the big screen.”
The new functionality is now available on Samsung TVs in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and will soon roll out to Spain, Brazil, India and South Korea by the end of the month, with other countries on the way by the end of the year. The functionality is available in several languages.
“Amazon Alexa on Samsung Smart TVs is designed to delight customers with an enhanced entertainment experience. Beyond navigating video and music content with ease, customers can also connect their Alexa built-in TVs with over 100,000 smart home devices, to make everyday tasks more convenient,” Aaron Rubenson, Vice President of Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills for Amazon, said in the announcement.
“Our collaboration with Samsung continues to bring customers the convenience of voice control on Smart TVs while giving customers access to their voice service of choice.”
Samsung recently filed several trademarks for TV-related phrases, providing some indications of their plans for future technologies.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.