A total of 17 features will be removed from Google Assistant in February 2024. But that’s not all—Samsung is actually removing Google Assistant from all of its smart TVs. This unprecedented change takes place on March 1st.
In a support article, Samsung explains that a “change in Google’s policy” is responsible for the depreciated Assistant support. The policy change in question is unknown. Samsung goes on to say that Bixby and Alexa are still supported on its TVs.
“Due to a change in Google’s policy, Google Assistant will no longer be available on Samsung TVs beginning March 1st, 2024.”
Hints of this change began cropping up last year. Every Samsung TV released in 2021 and 2022 included Google Assistant, but the 2023 lineup did not. And in October 2023, several people who purchased 2021 and 2022 models of Samsung smart TV reported that the Assistant functionality was missing. One customer says that Google “stopped supplying” Assistant for Tizen OS in September of last year, but we can’t verify their statement.
It seems that Google Assistant is circling the drain. Dozens of features have been removed from Google Assistant over the last year. Another 17 features will vanish later this month, and as The Verge reports, “a few hundred” employees were cut from the Google Assistant team in January. Call it what you want, but this isn’t a coincidence.
But Google Assistant probably won’t die. Instead, it will be rolled in with Bard, the new conversational AI developed by Google. Conversational AI has greatly exceeded the language capabilities of Google Assistant, so a total revamp of Assistant has been expected for some time. We recently learned that Google is preparing to change Bard’s name to Gemini—there’s never been a better opportunity for the AI-powered Assistant revamp.
In any case, Samsung TV owners who rely on Google Assistant aren’t very happy. We’ve reached out to Samsung for clarification on the “change in Google’s policy” that supposedly triggered this action. If the removal of Assistant from Samsung TVs was done at Google’s behest, we should prepare for similar announcements from other TV brands.
Source: Samsung via Android Police