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What’s next for the Google-equipped living room?

Chromecast featured 2

According to a report from the WSJ, Google has been developing another accessory for your television, this one a set-top box with an emphasis on Hangouts thanks to a built-in webcam. This device, which apparently is more like Roku than it is Google TV or Chromecast, was previewed in a hush-hush presentation at CES all the way back in January of this year.

While Hangouts would be a big part of the experience, the device would also be capable of running Android apps and games as well as streaming media. The only question left is whether this device evolved, shed some features, and launched as what we now know as Chromecast, or if Chromecast is just the beginning. Could a third Google device be headed for our living rooms?

It’s definitely curious. Both Chromecast and the features of the in-development box could both have easily been baked into Google TV, an established (if not all that successful) brand under the Google umbrella. Three devices each accomplishing similar goals seems to be introducing the same sort of fragmentation we see with Android into the living room. Of course, should Google launch a third television product, they will likely talk about how there is a place for all three devices on the market, or how certain consumers have different needs and Google just wants to meet all of them

Should this pan out, it sounds more like Google is throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Not the smartest strategy, but hey, it’s Google. They can pretty much do whatever they want.

[via WSJ]




  • Unorthodox

    We now need a remote to control all these Gthingies. Not a phone, not a tablet, but a remote that lasts months on 4 AA batteries and work with all this jazz.

    • ant-roid

      I remember my old Logitech smart remote, had a lil LCD display, how I used to love showing it off!

      • Jordan Caviness

        oh yeah….the Logitech Harmony. those things were $60+ pending on model..My Grandfather used to have one to control TV,VCR,DVD,Sound System,Radio,Microwave… nah JK, not the microwave..

    • Jordan Caviness

      OMG are you referring to a….(drum roll please)..G-Mote!

  • scoter man1

    I feel like OUYA is about to get pwnd once and for all

    • celisseromaine44iz

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      I don’t have a smart TV so I cant
      say if your smart TV combined with your smart phone can accomplish the
      following. What I really liked about the chromecast is the ability to
      watch a movie/video, or playing your music then being able to check
      email, text, maybe even browse the web or play an app without it
      affecting what is being displayed on the TV. Plus for the price I don’t
      think it can be beat.

  • Jim Shepherd

    This new set top device is likely the next version of Google TV. Google has already mentioned that they are actively working on the next version of Google TV and that Google Cast (the service the ChromeCast dongle uses) will be supported by the next version of Google TV. Seems like this new device is essentially a Google TV with webcam, Google Cast, and some new media streaming services.

    • Alan DeMunck

      I was going to post this but you beat me to it. Honestly you need to be careful when reading on Phandroid nowadays, Kevin likes to come over and write stories that twist news into bitter predictions on the future of Android.

  • Scott Stafford

    I don’t understand… All of this can be added to GTV, a much more capable box. Just market the box better and let it ride the hype train.

    • Jeffrey

      Better yet….offer the better Google TV box….and arrange with Samsung to create an evolution kit to update/modify Samsung TVs with Google TV…..

      • Scott Stafford

        Processors likely aren’t the right architecture or powerful enough to run GTV effectively. But I like where your mind is.

  • Mochi4u

    What better way to saturate the market than with the inexpensive Chromecast. It’ll introduce millions of nontechies to a smattering of what Google TV has to offer and teach them to get used to using the Google TV UI. This will set them up to buy into that market in the future which is where Google TV failed in the past. Consumer demand will help drive TV networks to capitulate in working with the Google TV platform.

    • Scott Stafford

      Agreed, here kitty kitty kitty….

    • ITCanWork

      GOOD. TV networks & Cable companies have been resistant to change, instead of embracing it.

  • Jordan Caviness

    “see what sticks” worked, and still is working for Sammy.

    • ITCanWork

      Technology has always been “see what sticks”, and that’s a good thing.

      • Jordan Caviness

        i agree.

  • simpleas

    Seriously can’t wait to get a hold of this thing, soon.

  • pr0xidian

    Everyone is forgetting price. At 35$ lots of people will buy this that won’t buy a Google TV.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      If you have cable and want to run actual android apps on your tv I think Google TV still has good nitch to fill.

  • Ruh17

    I just don’t understand all the hoopla around chromecast. But, i think I’m not getting it because i have had a smart TV for a while already and the S3 already sends netflix youtube, etc to any device connected to my home network. Which my TVs are.

    So, just for clarification, and not trying to pick a fight, Chromecast is basically just a way to turn any TV that has an hdmi input into a smart tv correct? So if you already have a smart TV you really don’t need this? Is it just the first wifi dongle that connects to the hdmi port instead of a usb port?

    • Kristoff119

      I see it as a way to turn any TV into a smart TV, but with the benefit of not needing a computer, but having a tablet and/or smartphone for sending the on device items you want to share or enjoy(photos, videos, music, etc.).

    • Haniel Serrato

      I don’t have a smart TV so I cant say if your smart TV combined with your smart phone can accomplish the following. What I really liked about the chromecast is the ability to watch a movie/video, or playing your music then being able to check email, text, maybe even browse the web or play an app without it affecting what is being displayed on the TV. Plus for the price I don’t think it can be beat.

    • Itchy_Robot

      Ruh17, … it makes dumb TVs smart, and smart TVs smarter. It will allow you, or a group of family members/friends, to create shared queues…Android and iOS devices. It will also allow any developer to create apps for it or, update their current apps to run through it. I have a feeling the number of apps that are supported is about to explode. I already have a smart TV but decided to get a Chromecast for when friends and family come over they can participate in queing up what ever media they want to cast to my TV.

    • Xx1WarChild1xX

      Ur forgetting that not everyone has a smart tv or at that can’t afford to shell out $1200 bucks for a 50 inch led. It draws more than just the techies with its attractive price, i dont know about you but ide rather pay $35 hell even $100 bucks more to get the Google tv experience than an extra 5 to 700…And like you said for a device that will eventually do the same thing as the updates keep rolling its way

  • MK2

    Go back to your iphone job Kevin, you’re starting to sound bitter.

    • Xx1WarChild1xX

      Seriously, these other phandroid guys need to stop leaving the back door open for this guy, that raveesh’s lame boring posts are starting to look good right now
      Let The itards leave the saucer of milk out for him from now on.

      • JoeTi

        I think Kevin can stay, but he needs to pull his head out of his backside with this weird fragmentation BS. I love GTV, I love the Chromecast features, but I will buy them both as they do different things. He’s basically saying that although my car gets me to work, riding my bike is fragmentation.

  • JoeTi

    Wow. “Fragmentation”. Really? What’s your deal?