"Hey Google, good morning." That's all it took to trigger the Google Assistant inside the Sony TV in front of me to rattle off details about the local weather forecast, tell me about upcoming meetings, let me know about the nearby traffic and even play a video newsreel.
If you're like me, and you fall asleep in front of your TV (it's in my bedroom, OK), you are about as intimate with that big screen as you are any smart device in your house. This is why Google's finally adding its Assistant Routines — which can do a whole lot after you say a single phrase — to Android TV sets.
Some TVs I saw (including the Sony A9G series) feature far-field voice recognition, thanks to microphones built into the base of the set. I also saw how a TV could gain Google Assistant, as one set was connected to the Harman JBL Link Bar, a smart soundbar.
Smart assistant features are many and complex, so you'll be excused if you thought Assistant Routines weren't on Android TV already. At a private briefing earlier this week in NY, I got to see Assistant on Android TV in action for myself, and learn that this feature should be on all Android TVs by October 22.
Google offers five other pre-made Assistant Routines, from the aforementioned "Good morning" to Bedtime, which can adjust device volume, tell you about tomorrow's weather and appointments, adjust smart lights and other smart home devices and it can event put your phone on silent, if you initiate the Routine via an Android device.
You can even create a custom routine, and we've got a complete guide for building your own routines. The perks of a custom routine include selecting the kind of media you want to see or hear, as well as the specific news source you want piped through your device.
That thermostat control is down to the degree, so you're getting complete control. A Google Assistant routine can also help you handle your regular routines, informing you about anything you need to know about your commute home or to work.