Samsung smart TV owners in the USA are in for a surprise as the company has launched a new firmware update that introduces the Google Assistant. The update is now rolling out to select 2020 smart TV models including the Crystal UHD series, the company’s 4K and 8K QLED TVs, as well as its lifestyle models such as the Frame, the Serif, the Sero, and the Terrace.
With the latest update installed and the Google Assistant enabled as the default virtual assistant, Samsung smart TV owners in the USA can press the microphone button on their remote and issue voice commands to browse for content or control SmartThings devices.
Of course, Samsung’s smart TVs come with the Bixby virtual assistant so the concept of voice controls should be familiar to existing customers. However, you will have to choose between using Bixby or the Google Assistant as the default solution.
As to why Samsung has decided to implement this feature now, perhaps it has something to do with the earlier reports pertaining to Google’s desire to make its own services more prominent in Samsung’s product portfolio. The company was reportedly willing to offer Samsung billions of dollars in order to promote Assistant over Bixby on more devices, but it remains unclear if this alleged deal was finalized.
In any case, Google Assistant is now an option as long as you’re in the USA, and it’s likely that Samsung’s smart TVs in other markets will receive a similar firmware update soon.
How to set up Google Assistant on your Samsung smart TV
Once you’re sure that your TV is running the latest firmware update you can follow the steps below to complete the Google Assistant setup:
- Open Settings on your TV and access General.
- Select Voice and Voice Assistant, then choose Google Assistant.
- Continue the setup and when ready, press and hold the microphone button on the remote.
- Give the Google Assistant the necessary permissions and select Allow.
- Switch to your smartphone and make sure it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your TV.
- Launch Google Assistant on your phone and say Set up my Assistant device.
- Select your TV from the list and tap Next.
- Tap Yes to confirm the sync code and tap Allow on your phone to complete the process.
You can refer to Samsung’s new support page for Google Assistant for more details and suggestions on how to use the virtual tool to search the web, play multimedia content, and control other smart devices in the home. As for when this feature might be available in other markets, Samsung hasn’t made any announcement but stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out more.