Test will begin in a few hundred homes first, company says – but people will have to be approved first
Google Assistant won't be arriving on Sonos this year, the company has admitted, pushing the release date into 2019.
Users had hoped that Google's voice assistant would arrive alongside Alexa at some time before the end of the year. But Sonos said integrating it had taken more time than planned and so it won't arrive until 2019.
It didn't say when the new features would arrive. But it noted that it was making "good progress" and it is looking to lock down a date in the next year, with another announcement coming in "early 2019".
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Before then, users can sign up to the company's beta. But only if they are willing to commit to a chunky amount of work: beta testers have to do at least 14 hours of listening per week, use 10 voice commands daily, and respond to surveys within 72 hours.
Users can sign up to be considered here. They will be screened over the next few weeks and the "few hundred" initially successful households will be able to sign up and give their feedback, before the beta is pushed out to a "few thousand"
"We’re very excited to see Google Assistant come to life on Sonos, and we know our customers are too. Indeed, it’s easily one of the questions we get the most from customers, press, and even in the comments on our Instagram feed: When is Google Assistant coming to Sonos?" Sonos wrote in a blog post announcing the delay.
"We’re listening. Together with Google, we’ve learned a lot, and are confident the integration will be worth the wait."
Sonos has taken an open approach to voice assistants, in contrast to speakers made by its rivals – Amazon, Apple and Google – all of which have locked in their own software. Instead, the company has committed to giving its users the choice of the different options, with Alexa built into its smart speakers from the beginning.