Android TV and Google Assistant both built into the JBL Link Bar

Volvo announced Monday that its next infotainment system will integrate more popular features from Google, including Google Maps, Play Store, and Google Assistant. When you plug the JBL Link Bar into your TV, for example, you can then say "Hey Google" and ask it to play whatever TV show, movie or YouTube content you want to watch or listen to.

This means future Volvo owners will use Google Assistant as the central voice interface to operate all the functions of their vehicle's infotainment system from heating and cooling, to using it for navigation, playing music, and sending messages.

Google today released version 1.0 of Android Things, letting manufacturers build and maintain Internet of Things (IoT) devices using its technologies. This combination speaker bar, smart speaker, and Android TV hub will turn pretty much any television into a smart streaming powerhouse.

"We now support group messaging and RCS".

Volvo Cars' intended partnership with Google will further enhance the way Volvo customers engage with and interact with their cars.

We also don't know the price yet but it will be available this fall.

Android TV and Google Assistant both built into the JBL Link Bar

Android TV and Android Auto could also get mentions this week as both products are due for updates. Google says the Weave platform is also getting an update to make it easier for all devices to connect to the cloud and interact with services, such as the Google Assistant. Android TV had "tremendous traction over the last year" from Asian cable and satellite operators seeking it for set-top boxes, said Google product management director Shalini Govil-Pai. This means that even if the car's owner doesn't sport an Android phone, as long as he owns a Volvo model with Sensus, he/she will have access to many features that are part of Android Auto. But other developers will have the option of leveraging the same OS to create their own products.And if you're looking to create a new Android Things product, Google is offering a limited program to partner with the broader Android Things team for technical guidance and support.

Assistant on Google Home has improved a lot over the past year, but it's still not as good as it is on our phones.

We are expecting to see some new features being announced at the Google I/O 2018.

Although officially Google IO doesn't begin until tomorrow that hasn't stopped Google from beginning their announcements.

LG, iHome, and Lenovo's recently launched smart speakers and displays are all powered by Android Things and will be released by the end of summer, with some of them already being available for purchase.

Vanessa Coleman