After delaying a promised 2018 arrival (while offering a beta as consolation), Google Assistant is finally arriving on select Sonos speakers. Not an earth-shattering bit of news, but certainly a nice little free software upgrade for those who already own a Sonos One speaker or Sonos Beam soundbar.
It’s a mutually beneficial deal for all parties. The addition of another assistant on top of Alexa lets Sonos embrace the growing smart home space without picking sides. For Google, meanwhile, it means getting its smarts on some decent home audio equipment beyond the Home Max speaker it doesn’t talk much about these days.
Initially available just in the U.S., users who download the update can use it for your standard array of smart assistant functions, including music playback, weather and smart home controls, using the speakers’ built-in mic array.
Sonos is clearly enjoying the ability to play both sides here. As it notes in a press release, the hashtag Sonos life means never having to settle for one:
The Google Assistant is Sonos’ second built-in voice assistant. Customers on Sonos 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, start a song with the Google Assistant, ask Alexa what’s playing, and vice versa.
The feature will start rolling out in other countries — including the U.K., Germany, Canada, Australia, France and The Netherlands — in July, with more coming later in the year.