Google announced its plans to bring its digital Assistant to Android TV at its I/O 2016 developer conference over a year ago. In January, it reiterated that commitment, but offered no indication of exactly when it would happen.
At its I/O conference this month, Google revealed that Android TV will be getting an overhaul, and in a blog post published yesterday, the company showed off the new-look home screen for Android TV, featuring the long-promised integration of its Assistant.
"The new Android TV home screen organizes video content into channels and programs in a way that’s familiar to TV viewers," Google explained. "Each Android TV app can publish multiple channels, which are represented as rows of programs on the home screen... Users can configure which channels they wish to see on the home screen, and the ordering of channels, so the themes and shows they’re interested in are quick and easy to access."
The home screen includes "a quick launch bar for users' favorite apps, and a special Watch Next channel", which serves up content based on each user's viewing habits.
Google also detailed some of the voice control support that will be available through the Assistant on Android TV:
Because the Assistant is context-aware, it can help users narrow down what content to play. Users will also be able access the Assistant to control playback, even while a video or music is playing. And since the Assistant can control compatible smart home devices, a simple voice request can dim the lights to create an ideal movie viewing environment.
Unfortunately, Google is still being frustratingly vague about its planned rollout, saying that it will bring the new Android TV experience to the Nexus Player as an over-the-air update "later this year". It added that Google Assistant support on Android TV is also "coming later this year" - but it didn't get any more specific than that.
Google Assistant on Android TV will - eventually - launch first in the United States on devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 Nougat, and the new Android O update.
Source: Android Developers Blog