Sonos Adds Google Assistant Support via Free Software Update

May 15 2019, 00:35
Sonos finally confirmed the promised introduction of Google Assistant smart voice control to its Sonos One or Sonos Beam speakers, allowing users to easily start a song, queue a TV show, control smart home devices, and get calendar and traffic updates. For now, the service is available in the United States, with additional countries to follow in July 2019. As the first company to bring multiple voice assistants to the same sound system, Sonos demonstrates the power of its open, multi-partner platform. 

"Use voice with the Google Assistant built-in to Sonos One or Sonos Beam, or with a connected Google Home product to easily start a song, queue a TV show, check the weather, and control the smart home," the company announces. The free software update for English language support will be available starting in the United States, with support in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, and The Netherlands coming in July, and additional countries to follow on a rolling basis over the coming months.
“We value freedom of choice, empowering listeners to choose what they want to listen to and how they want to control it. Adding voice, now with the Google Assistant, has made that control even easier,” says Patrick Spence, Sonos CEO. “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. Today we’re the first company to have two voice assistants working concurrently on the same system, a major milestone for the industry. We imagine a day where we’ll have multiple voice assistants operating concurrently on the same device, and we’re committed to making that happen as soon as possible.”

The Google Assistant is Sonos’ second built-in voice assistant, adding to the already supported Amazon Alexa service. Sonos' users will have the ability to choose an assistant for each individual speaker, with multiple voice assistants on a single system. With the Google Assistant on Beam in the living room and Alexa on the Sonos One in the kitchen, users can start a song with the Google Assistant, ask Alexa what’s playing, and vice versa.

Not just music and TV, Sonos will support the Google Assistant’s top first party actions and features, including Continued Conversation, Broadcast mode, and the ability to choose a different voice for the assistant. Bringing the Google ecosystem and integration within the smart home, the Google Assistant on Sonos also includes more than one million actions from partner products. Additional features and actions will be available through ongoing updates, bringing even more to the Google Assistant experience on Sonos. 

At launch, users will gain support for system control, allowing to start a song using AirPlay from Apple Music, ask the Google Assistant to go to the next track, and turn the volume down in the Sonos App. In addition, just one supported voice-enabled device allows for users to request music or content to be played on other Sonos speakers in the system (Play:1, for example).

The update also introduces further support to streaming services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, TIDAL, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Deezer. The Sonos Beam also supporting turning on the TV with the Google Assistant using Beam’s HDMI ARC connection and CEC, switch from TV to music, and adjusting the volume. Adding a Google Chromecast Ultra device enables additional features with voice for TV, including requesting specific shows or movies from streaming services.

As part of the Google ecosystem, Sonos One or Beam systems will be able to accept questions, manage tasks and plans, generate a daily news brief, provide flight information or commute time, set alarms, timers, and pull up calendar appointments or get answers on weather, calculations, translations, sports, and more. Users will be also able to ask Google Assistant for directions and have them sent directly to a phone.
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