Google Assistant has scrapped more than a dozen of its more "underutilized" features in the new year, and the culling's latest victim appears to be the best Samsung TVs. Samsung confirmed this week that it's winding down support for the search giant's virtual assistant, and Google Assistant will soon no longer be available on its line of smart TVs, including existing models.
On a Samsung support page, the company said that, as of March 1, Google Assistant functionality will be removed from all compatible devices:
"Due to a change in Google's policy, Google Assistant will no longer be available on Samsung TVs beginning March 1st, 2024. Check out other options for voice assistants on Samsung TVs."
The sets affected by this change include all 2022 and 2021 smart TV models, 2020 8K and 4K QLED TVs, 2020 Crystal UHD TVs, and 2020 Lifestyle TVs. Users who wish to keep using a voice assistant on these TVs will have to switch over to available alternatives like Samsung's own virtual assistant Bixby or Amazon Alexa. Check out our guide on how to connect your Samsung TV to Alexa if you need help making the switch.
While Samsung cites a “change in Google’s policy” that prevents continued support for Assistant, it's not entirely clear what the South Korean manufacturer is referring to. Google Assistant is available on just about all Android TV and Google TV products, and beginning in 2020, Samsung announced it was bringing support to its TV sets as well. However, starting last year, Samsung began moving away from Google Assistant, as functionality suddenly disappeared from Samsung's 2023 lineup of smart TVs without explanation.
One possible reason could be that Google is overhauling its virtual assistant with better generative AI support. So Google Assistant as we know it could look very different after its AI glow-up. In March, Google reportedly plans to integrate Assistant with its large language model chatbot Bard, enabling users to access all the functionality of Bard's web version by just saying "Hey, Google."