Sleep Jar Unveils Android App, Shutters Google Action and Bixby Capsule Voice Apps
Popular sleep sounds provider Sleep Jar debuted its new Android app this week. The startup simultaneously announced the end of the Google Action and Bixby Capsule versions of its eponymous software, choosing to invest more in Android as well as its place in the Apple iPhone and Amazon Alexa and Fire TV space.
Android Sleep Jar
Sleep Jar, formerly known as Invoked Apps, has spent about a year building the Android app. Users can access more than 100 different sleep sounds that can be played offline. Sleep Jar’s $2 a month premium membership is also available on its new platform. Subscribers get HD audio quality, gapless playback, and can mix together different sounds and play with respective volumes to create a custom audio blend to help them relax. Sleep Jar founder and CEO Nick Schwab claimed that his company’s voice apps had nearly 2 million monthly subscribers back in 2018. The Sleep Jar Android app has picked up more than 5,000 downloads in just a couple of days, although premium numbers aren’t indicated
“We spent the last year planning, building, revising, and polishing Sleep Jar for Android in preparation for this moment,” Sleep Jar shared in a Twitter announcement. “With the release of Sleep Jar for Android, we have decided to shut down our Google Action and Bixby Capsules on June 30, 2022. We encourage any impacted customers to install our Android app here: The capabilities, reliability, and adoption of Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby fell short of our expectations, so we’re making the hard decision to wind down our offerings there in order to focus on the amazing experiences we offer on Alexa, Android, iPhone, and Fire TV.”
The disappointment in Google Actions and Bixby Capsules compared to Alexa is especially notable as the company revamped the look of its app on Echo Show smart displays just a few weeks ago. While Android apps don’t automatically include voice control, Google Assistant has long been able to open Android apps when asked. And developers can connect other voice commands with the App Actions feature that Google made generally available in late 2020. Schwab indicated as much on Twitter in response to speculation over its future in voice apps.
“Supporting smart speakers/displays is still a priority for us, just not through a standalone @ActionsOnGoogle app. More on this in the coming months,” Schwab explained. “Alexa, however, remains a top priority and is a significant source of revenue for us.”