The Week in Smart Home: Google just quietly introduced ads to Android TV

All the lighter stories you may have missed from the week gone by

Google sneaks ads into Android TV

Bang, you're here, and it's time for The Week in Smart Home, the place where we look back at the past seven days in the world of connected home tech and round up the stories you may have missed.

There's been plenty of big headlines to look back on this week - Amazon Alexa is now HIPPA-compliant, taking it one step closer to being your doctor; Apple HomePod got a universal price cut; and SimpliSafe is now available in the UK.

You thought that was all, though, didn't you? Didn't you? You ridiculous piece of... anyway, it's not. Read on for everything else from the past week. Now.


The Week in Smart Home: Google just quietly introduced ads to Android TV

Google sneaks ads into Android TV

Google appears to be experimenting with ads in Android TV, with users of Sony smart TVs, Xiaomi's Mi Box 3 and the Nvidia Shield TV reporting home screens have been occupied by a new 'Sponsored' channel.

According to a report from XDA Developers, the ads started appearing after a recent update, with users not warned ahead of time regarding the change. In a statement given to the outlet, a Google spokesperson said that the ads were part of a pilot program, adding: "Android TV is committed to optimizing and personalizing the entertainment experience at home."

All in all, not the best week for Google and ads, after it was also reported that the company may sit in a grey area regarding potential ads through the Google Assistant.


The Week in Smart Home: Google just quietly introduced ads to Android TV

Nest set for Google Home support

Even before Google revamped the Home app last year, there wasn't support for many different types of smart home hardware, with things mainly focusing on lights and the company's own devices. However, over the past few months, this list has started to grow - and now a teardown of a new update by Android Police suggests Nest devices will be getting much greater support.

Within the app, those looking to set up, say, their Nest Cam will potentially be able to do so natively through the Google Home app itself, instead of just the Nest app. And, as is already the case, it appears users will also be free to set the camera up over Wi-Fi or through a QR code. Good timing, with the Nest Hub Max expected any day now.


The Week in Smart Home: Google just quietly introduced ads to Android TV

Apple Music hits Alexa in the UK

After rolling out to Alexa devices in the US at the end of last year, Apple Music has finally made it to the UK.

The introduction of the skill means subscribers can now listen to songs, playlists and radio stations through their Alexa device or Fire TV, making Amazon the first major player to provide support for both both Apple Music and Spotify.

Why not kick off things off with,"Alexa, play Anderson .Paak's new album from Apple Music," after you've learnt how to use Apple Music on Alexa.


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