Google Assistant is finally coming to Sonos devices after more than a year of waiting, as the company has confirmed that it will begin the roll out to Sonos One and Sonos Beam smart speakers next week. Unfortunately, that roll out will begin in the US before making its way to other markets.
Sonos has consistently moved the launch of Google Assistant support on its smart speakers as it faced the fact that implementing the smart AI was a tougher job that it had initially thought. Thankfully, it was clear the company was getting closer to an official release earlier this year, as it showcased an early version of the software at CES 2019. The company has also since launched a limited beta for a select few users.
In an earnings letter to shareholders, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence highlighted that the fact that Sonos is the first company to offer two voice assistants on a single smart speaker. “This feature will truly elevate the customer experience and marks the first time that consumers will be able to buy a single smart speaker and get to choose which voice assistant they want to use. We think giving consumers choice is always the right decision, and we anticipate this philosophy will be adopted in the industry over time,” he said.
Sonos hasn’t detailed whether it has made any changes to the Google Assistant implementation on its smart speakers, although sadly it’s likely. Alexa on Sonos devices lacks some of the features that can be enjoyed with other Alexa-enabled speakers, and we’re expecting the same with Google Assistant. One feature we expect to be absent from Sonos’ implementation of the technology is support for the Chromecast protocol, as well as the ability to loop Sonos speakers into a multi-room set-up with other Google Assistant-enabled speakers. If Sonos has omitted that feature, it will be disappointing considering the company supports the AirPlay 2 platform.