Google has a number of announcements for the Assistant today at CES 2019. And one is an announcement that Sonos users have been waiting on for over a year. That is the fact that the Google Assistant is coming to the Sonos One and Sonos Beam, later this year. When Sonos announced the Sonos One back in October of 2017, the company had said that it planned to have Google Assistant available by the first quarter of 2018. The first quarter came and went and nothing happened. Sonos said that it ran into some issues and delayed it. Now it is finally here. With the Google Assistant built-in, users are going to be able to control their favorite music with their voice, but they can also control their smart home with these speakers. There's no doubt that the Sonos One and Sonos Beam are going to sound much better than the Google Home (maybe not better than the Google Home Max though). Google also says that it will be working with Sonos to update earlier models with the Google Assistant. Though the Google Assistant won't be built-in – like a Google Home – instead, you'll be able to control them with your Google Home. So you could ask the Google Assistant via another device, to play a playlist from Google Play Music on your Sonos Beam.
According to Sonos, it is testing out Google Assistant integration into its One and Beam smart speakers in a beta program. It is planning to roll it out later this year. So Sonos users will need to wait a bit longer to get the Google Assistant on their devices. Unfortunately, this is going to be a private beta test for Sonos, so that its customers won't be able to get in on the test and check out Google Assistant support. It will be scaling up that beta test in the coming weeks, however, as long as the test continues to go as planned, it shouldn't be much longer until Google Assistant is available on Sonos smart speakers.
For a while, it seemed that Amazon was strong-arming Sonos
With all of the delays for Google Assistant support coming to the Sonos One, many started to come up with conspiracy theories that Amazon was strong-arming Sonos into only supporting Amazon Alexa and not the Google Assistant. After all, Amazon and Google are not friends right now – and you don't need to look far to figure out why. But now that Sonos is finally getting the Google Assistant onto its newest speakers, it shows that was not the case. Though Amazon could still have forced Sonos to keep Alexa exclusive for a year or so on the One. It did seem a bit odd that Sonos didn't figure this out before launching the One, let alone the Beam, considering it has been pretty adament about the fact that it is AI agnostic, and it wants to allow its customers to choose which personal assistant it wants to use in its home. But now we are getting closer to Google Assistant being available on some of Sonos' most popular smart speakers. And for those that are heavily invested in the Google Assistant ecosystem, you'll soon be able to get into Sonos' popular multi-room audio system that has everyone raving.
Google Assistant is getting more enhancements in the home entertainment segment
During media day yesterday, a number of new TVs were announced, and many have the Google Assistant built-in now. This includes Sony, Hisense, Philips, TCL, Skyworth, Xiaomi, Haier, Changhong and JVC. These are all Android TV devices, but Samsung also added the Google Assistant to its Tizen-powered Android TVs. These TVs (with a few exceptions) all feature far-field microphones in the remotes, so that you can talk to the Google Assistant without needing to turn down the TV or your music in the room.
Google says that the Assistant is going to work with many other media and entertainment devices later this year. One of those devices is the DISH Hopper, this is going to allow you to search for content based on the actor, genre, title or channel, using your voice. You can also use your voice to check the weather and control other connected devices in your home using the DISH voice remote. There are going to be many more partners as well, though Google has not disclosed the names of others just yet. This is just another way that the Google Assistant is coming to virtually everything you use, in your day-to-day life.