Sci-tech

Sonos finally gets Google Assistant support

Google Assistant has numerous same features you find on other devices, like Google's own speakers, but for those who don't want to use Amazon's assistant, this is a welcomed update.

I've been trying to avoid the word "finally" in my headlines, but I think this one gets a pass: Over a year and a half after it was originally promised, Sonos has brought the Google Assistant to its voice-powered speakers - namely the Sonos One and Beam.

Today we're the first company to have two voice assistants working concurrently on the same system, a major milestone for the industry. You could, for example, set a song to play throughout your house with Alexa, and stop it with the Google Assistant on another speaker. "We partnered with Google to build this integration from the ground up, layering in the best of the Google Assistant into the Sonos ecosystem of products and partners". With the Google Assistant on Beam in the living room and Alexa on the Sonos One in the kitchen, start a song with the Google Assistant, ask Alexa what's playing, and vice versa.

Google Assistant has been added to Sonos speakers in a delightfully seamless way.
For Sonos owners who have enabled automatic updates on their Sonos One or Sonos Beam, the system will update automatically overnight. Unfortunately, that's not quite the case. The update to enable this functionality is free but Sonos speakers are typically more expensive than other devices in the same category; that being said, for those that have the speakers (myself included), they are typically well received.

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If you have a Sonos Beam, you'll also be able to control your TV through Google Assistant with an HDMI ARC connection.

At launch it doesn't support Voice match, which is a significant shortfall for Multi user households.

Starting today, users can start talking to Google Assistant through their Sonos speakers. With any luck, Sonos will figure out how to add those additional Assistant capabilities in the coming months, though Sonos didn't explicitly say when they might arrive. Additionally, you can use the Google Assistant support to get answers and manage tasks like hearing a daily brief, flight information or commute time, plus setting alarms, timers, and pulling up calendar appointments.

The official support page for Assistant languages says Simplified Chinese is now only supported on phones - smart displays, smart speakers, smartwatches, and other form factors will have to wait.



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