Android TV announced as Google’s next evolution of the smart television

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Ever since the announcement of Google TV at I/O 2010, Google’s aim with their Android-based smart television platform was fuzzy at best. Today things become a bit clearer with the introduction of Android TV, an evolution of the concept that strips away some of the more ambitious features of Google TV and rolls the remainder into the newly-announced Android ‘L’ SDK, streamlining the platforms and making sure TV isn’t left behind.

Google TV debuted with several hardware partners in tow, Logitech and Sony in particular showing up big for the launch. Over the next several months the initiative seemed to slip further and further out of Google’s plans despite several promising hardware options reaching market as well as strides on the software front. At times, Google TV seemed destined to go the way of other short-lived products like the Nexus Q.

Android TV more or less starts from scratch, but it isn’t that unlike what was initially offered with Google TV. The platform will still be available as a software SDK that can be deployed by any manufacturer, it integrates live TV with downloadable and streamed content, and it incorporates search and viewing suggestions to reveal new content for viewers.

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Games will also be a huge part of Android TV, taking advantage of the large library of titles found in the Google Play Store and syncing with Google Play leaderboards and friends. Because the SDK branches out from Android ‘L,’ it will be easier than ever for developers to get their apps and games on as many screens as possible

Android TV will also work in conjunction with Android implementations found on other devices, including smartphone and wearable apps, as well as Chromecast-like functionality to “cast” content from a tablet direct to television.

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Sony, Sharp, and other manufacturers are already committed to the inclusion of Android TV in their upcoming HDTV lineups. But we’ve seen this story before. Manufacturing partners do not guarantee success, but Google’s new approach to television looks to be based on some hard lessons learned from their initial attempts with Google TV.

 

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  • AbbyZFresh

    This will unfortunately suffer the Google TV treatment.

    • HeatFan786

      Not if they price it well.

      • Montisaquadeis

        Needs to come around at the same price as the Fire TV to be viable.

        • HeatFan786

          Actually, I can see it going for lower. Google has better service offerings than Amazon. These top up boxes are better than Apple TV anyways. I hope the Chromecast can see upgrades like the TV service, but it wouldn’t make sense. A UI from a plug in is great. I have the Xbox One as my user interface, but Microsoft wants to use that crappy Windows Phone for extra perks. If they can use Smartglass to stream Google Play Videos and Movies, that would be great, but the PS4 is probably going to do that before the Xbox.

  • Dwight

    I wonder if Google TVs will be updated with this software… I don’t own a Google TV, so I don’t really know much about the platform.

  • Rash

    Let me be honest. I used to own google TV box and apple TV. Both I used for some time and sold on craiglist. Between two, second(first apple-tv), I bought google-tv for typical streaming purpose but importantly a browser internet support that was lacking in apple-tv. Unfortunately, somehow you feel that google products have big strategy but when you use, the real good user experience sucks, it lacks that feel and is way behind apple. Android looks as good as ios because of support from such big open source XDA community spending their countless time to enhance android along with all android phone manufacturers. If you leave android to only google in game of android development and it’s dependent product development like Nexus(or motorola ?) than it will flop miserably and google TV will be one of them.

    • HeatFan786

      Honestly, a Chromecast does what you need. Stream content from Google devices, use apps that you would on a setup box, and you can web browse. Keep in mind, this is for mirroring, so Google has a small list of phones that support it now. It is only as good as developers let it be.

  • Scott Stafford

    Wonder if the second gen Sony GTV device will be updated….

  • Victor Dominguez

    From the way this article sounds Android TV is going to be integrated into tvs themselves. I thought it was going to be set top box similar to the ATV or FTV.. kinda disappointing.

    • https://plus.google.com/102862831744598656090/about Wesley

      There will be boxes too.

  • noelsito

    Sadly, I don’t think my Vizio Co-Star will ever get to experience this

    • gs6456

      After I got my Chromecast, I never looked back. That Co-Star is dead to me.

  • Haggie

    I still use two Sony GoogleTV boxes. They work wonderfully for 1.) streaming local content 2.) front-end for cable TV 3.) Amazon/Netflix apps.

    I don’t really need much beyond that.