Google Assistant Likely to Arrive on Samsung Smart TVs in 2019
Despite the lukewarm reception it has received from its userbase, Samsung continues to push Bixby on to its users via their vast ecosystem (and the highly annoying Bixby button on Galaxy S/Note phones) At one point, Samsung even ‘incentivised’ users to use Bixby on their phones by awarding them with Samsung Pay reward points. Even though the program has been discontinued, bribing users to use your product is never a good sign.
However, according to a report by Variety, Samsung is expected to support Google Assistant on all its TVs sometime at CES next year. Samsung declined to comment on the matter to The Verge, but CES 2019 isn’t too far off. Samsung is expected to launch these new TVs and a host of products at CES, so we’ll know soon. The report also hints at some new sound sensing technology on the TVs which would adjust the output based on the room it’s in.
The Google Assistant is arguably one of the best virtual assistants on the market, paralleled only by the Alexa. The Assistant’s deep integration with the Google ecosystem makes it a perfect fit for any Android-powered device. Bixby isn’t going anywhere, though. It is very likely that the new line of TVs will support both the Assistant and Bixby. Perhaps, the new line of TVs will even support Alexa.
The market is already chock full of Google Assistant ready TVs, and at this point, it is more of a necessity than a feature. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with Bixby per se. It’s just that it cannot do a lot of what the Assistant can do. One can only use Bixby to control playback of videos, but you can’t open and control third-party apps with it, which is a major dealbreaker. Even Samsung admits that Bixby for TV is still not ready. At the Samsung Developer Conference held in San Francisco earlier this year, a senior engineer said, “We are at the very early stage of development for Bixby for TV”.