Sony's been busy with announcements so far at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, debuting new headphones and speakers, an Android Auto audio system, and some new phones (trademark bezels still intact). There are surely many more new Sony things being launched at the show, but not all of them are relevant to us here. New Android TV sets with the Google Assistant built in? Yep, that's relevant enough.
We got a tip earlier today from a user whose Sony Android TV gave him a message about an upcoming update. The message does not explicitly mention Nougat, but among the features listed are some that are exclusive to Android 7.0. Unfortunately, we don't know exactly when the update will hit, but the included information says that it is scheduled to begin after 05/2017.
Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market. They have a few Sony enhancements, of course. They include built-in apps for convergent activities like photo sharing.
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
The device sounds kind of like a Chromecast and, in so far as it's a dongle, looks sort of like a Chromecast, and indeed the device could end up packing the Chromecast protocol allowing users to stream content from compatible apps, but Sony makes a point to clarify that it's more like a Google TV device with BRAVIA apps pre-installed, excluding any potential Chromecast-related functionality.
Following on from their press release on Wednesday, Sony Ericsson invited the media this morning to a designated conference room at the Hard Rock Hotel for some play time with their newest Android device. We spent over an hour with the handset to get an idea of what to expect when it hits the market.
The reps there acknowledged the difficulties they had experienced with their previous Android handsets, and showed what appeared to be decisive commitment to putting those hold-ups behind them. With the Xperia arc (sic), Sony Ericsson has trumped its competition at CES with the first Gingerbread device to be announced since the Nexus S.