It’s taken Google just a little over a year to put the latest (and most powerful) Mountain View-made Siri rival on the vast majority of Android phones out there, as well as smartwatches, both first and third-party speakers, headphones and now finally Android TVs.
That’s quite an impressive expansion for the voice-activated Google Assistant, although NVIDIA Shield TV users were kept waiting a painfully long time. At last, you can download the “SHIELD Experience Upgrade 6.0”, and “bring the power of the Google Assistant to your living room.”
It has thus become even harder to recommend choosing a $179 Apple TV 4K over a Shield set-top box priced at an identical rate in its entry-level configuration, at least going by a “competitive chart” that highlights about a dozen strong points of the latter media streamer.
The two’s voice capabilities are pretty similar, with a simple “Ok Google” hands-free command from “within shouting distance” or the press of a button on the Shield TV remote triggering Google Assistant functionality on the big screen.
From there, you can ask the AI to play YouTube, Netflix or HBO Now video content by naming what you want to watch, or performing a quick voice search based on a topic or genre. You can also tell the digital assistant to “play some music” (across services like Spotify, Pandora or YouTube), catch you up on the latest news, help you organize your schedule, buy stuff from Walgreens and Walmart, control smart home devices, and so much more.
Too bad other members of the Android TV family, like Sony Bravia TVs, still have a few months to wait before the Google Assistant love finally reaches them.