Google Assistant to stop working on Samsung smart TVs

Mike Wheatley

Dozens of Samsung TVs will soon lose support for Google Assistant, meaning their owners will be forced to use an alternative system such as Bixby or Amazon Aleca if they want to continue using their voice to control their viewing.


The news came via an update on Samsung’s support page which said that Google Assistant functionality will be removed from all compatible devices on March 1.

The South Korean brand said the removal of Google Assistant stems from a “change in Google’s policy” and encouraged customers to check out “other options” for voice assistants.

It’s quite a large number of TV sets that are being affected, including all 2021 and 2022 smart TV models, its 4K and 8K models from 2020, plus its lifestyle and Crystal UHD TVs from that year. Those who want to continue using a voice assistant on these models will have to switch to an alternative, such as Samsung’s very own Bixby, the Smart Things smart home platform, or Amazon’s Alexa, which are still supported.

Although Samsung cites Google’s policy change as preventing it from continuing to offer support for Google Assistant, the company did not specify exactly which policy it’s referring to. It’s an interesting decision, because Google Assistant is now a staple of just about every Android smartphone and TV platform, as well as Google TV platforms. The penetration of Google Assistant is so widespread that Samsung’s decision to offer support for it on its TVs back in 2020 was seen as a necessity to keep pace with other TV brands.

That said, Samsung has recently moved away from Google TV, as there was no support for the service in its best 2023 TVs.

One of the speculated reasons for the change is that it has to do with Google’s efforts to revamp the assistant with generative artificial intelligence. The company has said it is planning to integrate Google Assistant with its generative AI model Bard, powered by the Gemini large language model, by the end of next month. As such, Google Assistant may soon look very different, and there may be some interesting caveats in its policies on data collection that possibly prompted Samsung’s decision.

Google Assistant can also be found on many other TVs, including those sold by LG Electronics, Sony, TCL, Philips and others, and none of them have said anything about dropping the assistant yet.