You’d think Samsung smart TVs will only have support for the company’s own Bixby assistant. The fact remains that Bixby doesn’t quite have the reach offered by Alexa and the Google Assistant. It was reported back in December that the company’s upcoming TV lineup may come with Google Assistant.
Samsung seems to agree now which is why it has announced that its 2019 smart TVs will work with both of them. There’s one major catch, though. It’s because the rival assistants won’t actually be running on its TVs. The 2019 smart TV lineup from Samsung will only be able to recognize and execute commands from Alexa and Google Assistant devices.
2019 Samsung smart TVs work with Alexa and Google Assistant
You’ll need to have your own smart speaker for the aforementioned assistants. So it could be an Echo device for Alexa, Google Home for the Assistant or any other smart speaker. Since neither Alexa nor Assistant would be running on the TVs, the commands will be routed only through the smart speakers. Bixby is thus the only assistant that runs natively on these TVs and can receive direct voice commands.
The capability with these assistants will be limited as well. Bixby will have a leg up on them as it’s deeply integrated into Samsung’s smart TV platform. It also lets users give voice commands through the TV’s remote. That can’t be done for either of those assistants. Alexa and Google Assistant can be used to turn the TV on or off, switch inputs, control volume or launch apps.
Samsung may have decided to support these assistants since its rivals like Sony and LG already do. It can also be viewed as an acknowledgment on the company’s part that these assistants can’t simply be ignored. The concession it’s making here will make life easier for those who pick up a new Samsung TV this year and already have an Assistant or Alexa-based smart home ecosystem. Samsung hasn’t said if Assistant and Alexa will be supported on older models as well.