Any worries that an Android TV wouldn’t allow for Apple’s features turned out to be just worries.
Samsung was first to declare. Then LG and Vizio. But the big question regarding integration of Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Homekit? That was whether Sony would be on board — or even have the option.
It was a big enough surprise that Samsung — Apple’s arch enemy in the phone space — would see two relatively core iPhone and Mac features come to its products. But Samsung at least has its own semi-proprietary operating system inside its TVs in the form of Tizen.
Sony’s Bravia sets? They run Android TV. And Android TV is pretty tightly controlled by Google. So you see where we might have some doubts.
But at its annual press event at CES, Sony let it be known that AirPlay 2 and Homekit indeed would hit three of its TV lineups — the Z9G Series, A9G Series, and X950G Series “later this year.”
Here’s the full line from the press release:
Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit3. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and TV shows from iTunes and your other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Listen to Apple Music, your iTunes music library, podcasts and your other music services on your television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home — all in sync. HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. These TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories. For example, users can create a “Movie Night” scene in the Home app to easily turn on their TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch in Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series later this year.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen an Apple feature on an Android-based product, of course. Who doesn’t remember the HTC 10, with its three-fingered swipe that would trigger the fully licensed instance of AirPlay (1), allowing you to kick things over quite seamlessly to an Apple TV.
But that was another product category in a very different time.