Sony’s European arm has now confirmed Google Assistant support is arriving on select TV sets powered by Android TV in the UK. While this announcement is specific to the UK, this is only the start of things to come as the announcement also explains the UK represents the initial wave of what will be a more Europe-wide rollout for Google Assistant support. As a result, Sony has confirmed Google Assistant will also be heading to select TV sets in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. While Sony did not provide specifics on the time-frame for these other European countries, it did say the wider rollout will continue “later in 2018.”
Coming back to the UK, Sony has explained the “select” TV models refers to the Sony AF8, as well as a few of the XF-line, including the XF75, XF80, XF85, and the XF90. Therefore, owners of any of these models should expect an update to arrive in due course which brings with it Google Assistant functionality. While the updates are said to be starting today, it may take a few days for it to arrive on an individual device with Sony stating it expects the UK update rollout to be complete before the end of June. No information was provided on whether certain models (from the confirmed list) are receiving the update before others, or whether all confirmed models are starting to receive the update today.
As to be expected with Google Assistant functionality, once a TV set has received the update, TV owners will not only be able to use voice commands to navigate the TV interface, choose programs, and adjust aspects like the volume, but also use the Android TV system as a smart home hub. As the TV will then be compatible with the wide variety of Google Assistant-compatible smart home products allowing the owner to control those products by issuing commands to the TV. Making use of Google Assistant following the update will be as simple as holding down the mic button on the remote control while voicing a command. This represents the latest development in Android TV’s Google Assistant support, which also saw Sony's US TV sets gaining their support in November.