Four times as many smart TV shipments a year ago had Samsung's operating system as Android TV, according to IHS Markit.
Google says that the JBL Link Bar will be available in fall and there will be demos at this I/O. In January, Google announced the integration of its Assistant software into Android Auto for voice functions. As AdAge was the first to report, the revamped news app will include more video from YouTube and offer faster load times, courtesy of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google is going to announce its in-house Android TV dongle which will also support a remote for one-handed navigation experience.
The Link Bar works primarily like any other sound bar; you connect your television and other audio sources to it via HDMI and play all your sounds through it. These are just meant to put devices with Android out in the market, giving Google an even bigger presence in the smart home market. Besides that, support for Actions was also added that lets you do things like turn on your connected oven, and the ability to hear responses to questions from your watch, just like on your phone. Google has made multiple attempts to insert itself as the gatekeeper of streaming media, and though set-top boxes like NVIDIA Shield and the Xiaomi Mi Box have had niche success, they've nonetheless struggled against simpler - and more affordable - rivals like Amazon's Fire TV.
The use of Android Things console for software updates is however limited to 100 active devices for non-commercial use and developers looking to ship a commercial product running on Android Things must sign a distribution agreement with Google to remove the device limit. Or do you find it makes you more distracted behind the wheel? Our sister site DGIT pitted the Nvidia Shield TV against the Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku ...
Consumers can expect Google Maps to provide navigation and real-time traffic updates in future Volvos, along with voice-based control for climate functions and other auto systems.
While the JBL Link Bar is likely to take some of the wind out of Sonos' sails, keep in mind that Sonos not only has a more robust multi-room audio platform of its own design going for it, but also its last product - the Sonos One - was easily the best-sounding smart speaker released past year. Would you buy a single unit device that has all these features?