Nexus Player finally gains access to Google Assistant with November security update

The Nexus Player, Google’s Android TV set top box manufactured by ASUS, is now receiving it’s November security patch update. While that normally wouldn’t be terribly exciting, the update brings increased functionality to the device by way of Google Assistant.

It works much the same way as it does on your phone, only now Assistant can execute commands relating to your TV and shows, providing for a much easier hands-free approach to watching TV. Here are a few commands to help get you started:

  • “Play Game of Thrones”— your Assistant can play a wide variety of content, from movies and TV shows to YouTube clips and music. With HBO NOW, Netflix and YouTube, you can instantly watch something by asking for it by name or, if you aren’t sure what to watch, try “show me movies about climbing Mount Everest.” You can also ask your Assistant to “play some music” or listen to a specific song on YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify or Pandora.
  • “Play business news”— catch up on what’s going on in the news, from business to tech to entertainment. And once you’re caught up, prepare for your own day by asking “what’s on my agenda for today?”
  • “Talk to Fitstar”— apps for the Google Assistant are also now available on Android TV, so you can talk to Fitstar for a quick home workout, Tender for a cocktail recommendation, Wall Street Journal for a market update and more.
  • “Order more popcorn”— stock up on binge-watching snacks right from the comfort of your couch. With Google Express, you can shop and reorder from Walgreens, Walmart and many other stores.
  • “Turn off”— it’s as simple as that. With your Assistant on Android TV you can turn up the volume, pause, control your smart home devices and more, just with your voice.

Oddly enough, the Nexus Player — which launched 3 years ago — isn’t the first Android TV device to gain Assistant functionality. Both the NVIDIA Shield TV and select Sony Bravia TVs added similar functionality nearly 2 months ago. Better late than never, I suppose.