Report: Google is killing off Google TV, will rebrand it Android TV

LG-Google-TV-2013-girl-sitting

The signs were all there, and now after only 3 years since Google first debuted the Google TV platform, they’re finally ready to put it out to pasture. Well, the branding anyway. A report out of GigaOM suggests that Google will soon retire the Google TV branding in favor of something a little more familiar: Android TV.

Evidence for Android TV mounts

Although Google declined to comment, the new name transition was further confirmed by a consumer electronics manufacturer who produces Google TV devices. Don’t forget that back when Sony announced their all new Bravia TV HDMI stick, there was curiously no mention of Google TV in the press release. Instead, Sony’s marketing manager simply stated that the Bravia TV stick brought “Google services” into the living room.

This was echoed by LG who recently announced a handful of new devices, saying only that they ran Android and — you guessed it — featured “Google services for TV”. The nail in the coffin could be a Google TV developer conference held in Korea dubbed “Android TV Developer Day”. After the event, former Google TV developers soon began updating their online profiles to “Android TV”.

A more powerful brand name

Nestle KitKat Android wrappers

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The struggling Android platform has never fared very well in the television space, with only a few big name manufacturers ever jumping on board the GTV train. With Android 4.4 KitKat soon to become a household name (just check the candy aisle of your grocer), it only makes sense that Google is once again trying to better align the fragmented Google TV platform with “regular” Android. This was an initiative Google first took when they announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (one version to rule them all) but we all saw how that turned out.

Google TV’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update was announced back in May, and aside from giving Android developers access to newer APIs, the update was also said to bring Chromecast functionality to ARM-based devices. Since then we haven’t seen any devices actually make the jump, but LG is promising to update their devices by the end of this month, with more OEMs to follow. If Google is really planning to unify their products and renew their efforts with their television platform, blanketing everything under the same Android name is a great start. Guess Google Android TV still has some fight left in it.

[via GTVSource]

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  • KOLIO

    Semantics………

  • Fel Pe

    Makes a lot of sense. I never really got why Google TV or even Chrome (OS). Why not everything android? (Like everything Microsoft is Windows). Anyway, I would love to see the new Playstation 4 or Xbox One come with Android (Tv?). Am I asking too much?

    • CerealFTW

      Xbox definitely won’t(Microsoft) but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Sony do something with it

      • Fel Pe

        Youre most certainly right my friend. I think they should (either). I’d buy whichever one with that feature for sure.

        • CerealFTW

          I’d get the Xbox one if I had the money. My account has free live:D its worked for the past 2 years but idk how long until Microsoft fixes it

    • NF

      Chrome is much more portable. It runs everywhere, even on competitor platforms. Android is great for more native stuff, but Chrome has a place in the ecosystem too.

      • Fel Pe

        Hmm I see. Didn’t know that but now that u said it makes sense. It is amazing to believe a “desktop” OS is lighter than a mobile one. Good stuff.

      • ari_free

        Chrome OS has a place…along with flip phones and EVO 3D’s. Just as dumb as firefox OS

  • Chimphappyhour

    Still loving my 1st gen Sony GTV.

  • THenefield

    So does this mean that the my Google TV I bought is now essentially as my G1 was and I will need to upgrade? So much for being an early adopter. It was fun while it lasted. I would love to see mine updated. I’m still on Honeycomb. I have really enjoyed it though. More so than the Samsung Smart TV interface. The remote was brilliantly designed, minus no backlighting.

    • Mike Kister

      Yup, we got the Logitech version within the first few months. For the most part it has been great and we have really enjoyed it. I would hate to see it orphaned.

  • scoter man1

    In before “Android Glass”

  • Rauel Crespo

    I can’t wait for Android-Book, or Chromedroid

  • Delmar

    i still have yet to find the android kit kat bars, even though i don’t eat junk food

    • Scotsman of Loch Ness

      Same here… Well, with the exception of the not eating junk food part. Seeing adds and articles for it so much more aggregating

    • steveb944

      It’s pretty bad, I found a few in my local Walgreen’s but then they restocked with regular ones!

  • Modman

    Roku is probably number 1 now because most people don’t have a smart TV yet. But who gives a crap whether you stream from ouya xbox360 gtv Sony or your smart TV regardless of the brand. When smart tvs take off all this stuff will be redundant anyway

    • Fel Pe

      Yup. That’s why I want Android in a Playstation and/or Xbox.

      • anywherehome

        exactly, Android TV as a gaming console with TV tuners…..my dream!
        Google will never do that, they don’t innovate much any more

        • Fel Pe

          Sony is probably our only hope here… they put android in their smartphones, i dont see why they couldn’t put it in the ps4. Would be awesome being able to play all Playstation and Android games with just one powerful device. Plus nothing would make a tv smarter than such a device. Oh lord why can’t we have it all? :)

  • UMA_Fan

    Hmm I suspect this will be followed with Google rebranding the Google Play Store to… oh, wait.

  • steveb944

    For a sec I worried that my poor CoStar device was obsolete. I’ve gotten some decent use from it, thanks Vizio! Glad to know it’s not being killed.

    • CryptoNoel

      same here! i just got it, i was like “whoa!”

  • PD_Fresh

    Wouldn’t something like Play TV make more sense?

    • WickedToby741

      I think Android TV makes the most sense because it’s literally Android for television.

      • ari_free

        Android means apps apps apps

    • anywherehome

      “Play internet TV”…..very limited device, useless for homes

    • Fel Pe

      Play TV is too generic, it would be impossible to trade mark that.

    • ari_free

      How about the Station Play TV?

  • Canon User

    Wait.. Android Market is now Google Play, but Google TV is now Android TV?

    • Fel Pe

      They probably want to level up the, so far, modest Google TV. Android has a very known name out there (even blogs made just for its fans)… it’s sort of funny paradox nevertheless.

    • DavidVarghese

      Lmao.

      Great point.

    • anywherehome

      hope they will swap Google Play for Android Market

      Google Play is a joke

    • BELIEVEinMYTH

      Could be for the idiots that still dont connect Google with Android, lol.

  • Jordan Caviness

    i would call it GV…for GoogleVision….

    its not TV….its GV!! ;)

    • Fel Pe

      LOL! I needed to read that 3 times to get it!

  • anywherehome

    its just an Android Internet player easily replaceable by any Miracast / AllShare dongle

    useless to buy that

    • Fel Pe

      That’s why TVs should come with it. Or game consoles. I really don’t see it, by itself, justifying costing more than the $35 Chromecast.

      • likemystory

        Don’t bother with chromecast just buy an Android stick for the same price.

        • Fel Pe

          What’s android stick?

          • likemystory

            Type it in on Amazon or eBay and have a look it’s basically what the name states Android on a stick, I purchased 4 MK808B’s and plugged them into the back of every TV in the house.

    • ari_free

      If it gets built into every TV, Android will eventually take over the US no matter what Apple does

  • BELIEVEinMYTH

    Dont care what anyone says, Google TV was awesome, it did what it was supposed to do, bring Android onto my television and it worked. Only idiots that wanted it to magically be a DVR and a storage device and this and that were disappointed. Android TV is simply the next evolution of Google TV, not a killing off, simply a rebranding. Awesome !

    • samagon

      yep, I still have my logitech gtv, really only use it to search for movies, but for that it is awesome and worth it. well, that and I don’t even remember where the 3 remotes are that I replaced with my phone. oh, and tossing youtube videos onto the tv quickly and easily. so really 3 things.

      • BELIEVEinMYTH

        I still have my logitech too, but it fell off my tv stand and then started making a noise like a motorboat, got so loud i had to disconnect it. Been waiting for a replacement ever since. Was going to get a ChromeCast but maybe ill wait for the next iteration of GTV, namely Android TV.

  • robjackson81

    I hope there are still big google/android TV announcements in our future…

    • Jared Meadows

      Yeah me too, I’m hoping this means that they will give Google TV (soon to be Android TV) more than just a half-hearted effort. It really felt like they could have done more with the platform. Maybe even enable the entirety of the Google Play store, if you pair your GTV with a tablet to enable it as a touch screen! I know the play store apps for the GTV has always been a weak point of the platform. I’d like to see them remedy that situation to give this rebranded version a stronger start! :D

  • saltyzip

    But Google killed the android app store and renamed it Google Play store, therefore this tv name change makes no sense to me.

    • chris

      It kind of does make sense. Android Store was renamed to Google Play store as the app wasn’t necessarily specific to Android. Yes it does android games/apps but now it has books/magazines/tv shows/movies do not have to be viewed on Android

      • saltyzip

        Using that similar argument for renaming Google TV to Android TV doesn’t stack up. Why take something synonymous with a smart phone and try and relate it to a TV, surely better to stick with Google TV?

        • Jason E Perkins

          Android isn’t synonymous with smartphones. It’s on tablets too.

          Android is meant to conform to various screens. Ideally, it would be on smartphones, tablets, TVs, refrigerators, in-car dashes, etc.

          But to go back to the whole Google Play thing, Android smartphones run Android, Android tablets run Android, Android TV will run Android, but Google Play itself isn’t just Android. It’s Google’s online store and, like chris said, it sells more than apps and hardware, so continuing to call it the ‘Android Store’ wouldn’t make sense.

          ‘Android’ for stuff that runs Android. ‘Google’ for stuff that goes beyond that.

          • saltyzip

            And the logic why chromecast is called chromecast, instead of androidcast?

          • Jason E Perkins

            Because Google introduced the Chromecast as using a stripped-down version of Chrome OS. Hackers would eventually discover that Chromecast ran on a combination of both Android and Chrome, so Google could have gone either way with their naming, but Google obviously wanted Chromecast associated with Chrome.

          • saltyzip

            All it tells me is that Googles left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in this instance

    • spicymeatball

      I think they just need to call their product Nexus TV when they build one themselves and the OS is and always has been Android.

  • likemystory

    Google now need to ditch chromecast & make a nexus stick like all those Android sticks out there to plug in to older none smart tv’s, this will give them a much larger customer base & with some good advertising bolster the Android platform & mobile devices simultaneously. I have an Android stick plugged into every TV in my house & added some serious functionality to them all, I installed cheap cast to them and can throw my videos pics music from anything android to any screen in my house.

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    Really does feel like Google is just throwing media products at the wall and hopes one of them will stick… First we had Google TV, then the Nexus Q, now we have the chrome cast and after that, this?

    • spicymeatball

      Google TV never went away and Nexus Q never made it to market. Currently we have Google TV and Chromecast. I think they can co-exist. Chromecast isn’t a replacement for Google TV. I love the search capabilities on my Google TV and the integration with Dish. Chromecast is for all but my main tv.

    • Dylan

      I wonder what happened to @home as well. I was all excited to start controlling my house, and syncing fitness devices from my phone.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    they should rebrand it Galaxy TV so they can actually sell some units

    • phinn

      sadly it’s not a bad point

  • endinyal

    It’s still lipstick on a pig.

  • spicymeatball

    How about Nexus TV and charge $99. Throw in 2 months google music, netflix, and hulu. Integrate chromecast into it so there is an hdmi port that works just for chomecast so when I cast it automatically flips over to that hdmi port. I’ve given up on hulu ever supporting and building an app for GTV but since they have one for chromecast.

  • Tomato88

    The Korean chick… yum…

    • Donovan Shore

      The Kit Kat… yum…

  • phinn

    I really don’t understand Google, it should have been called this from the start.

    Their Smartphones, Tablets, TVs, Setup boxes, and $249-279 ChromeOS laptops should all run Android.