At the annual I/O developer conference Google revealed its future TV platform. It is called Android TV and Google wants to make your TV smart; able to stream, run apps and play games. Sony, Sharp and Philips are on the bandwagon.
Android TV revealed
Google has officially abandoned the Google TV project and has instead turned its focus to Android TV as the new TV platform. Android TV brings streaming, apps and games to your living room TV.
Android TV will run on Smart TV but also on TV boxes that can be connected to old TVs. You do not necessarily have to buy a new fancy Smart TV. Movies are TV shows are pulled to the front page and you can search for movies, TV shows, actors, "Oscar-nominated movies" or just ask questions simply by talking to your smartphone or smartwatch. Based on what you have seen in the past, Google will recommend relevant content.
Android TV also supports Chromecast functionality, which lets you browse for example the Netlfix library on your phone or tablet (Android and iOS) and start playback on the TV screen when you are ready.
Android TV is based on the latest version of Android, which Google currently refers to just as "L". Android TV will offer access to the Google Play store in a special TV edition. From here you can download apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora and many more. The idea is obviously to let developers create new apps and experiences for the TV screen – like on smartphones.
Chromecast is integrated into Android TV
Android TV is also a game console and since it is based on the Android OS, there are already lots of good games available. The games can be controlled with another Android device or with a game controller that other companies can create and sell. Google demonstrated how it is possible to push a game from a tablet onto the TV screen wirelessly.
Games such as Leo' Fortune and EA’s NBA Jam were highlighted.
Android TV also supports Chromecast functionality, which lets you browse for example the Netflix catalogue on your tablet or smartphone (Android or iOS) and push the movie to the big screen when you are ready.
Sony, Philips & Sharp on board
Sony, Sharp and Philips will be the first TV makers to offer Smart TV based on Android from the 2015 TV line-ups and onwards. Companies such as Razer and Asus will launch TV media boxes based on the system, and Google also mentioned dedicated game consoles.
Samsung and LG are not participating, even though LG was Google’s most dedicated Google TV partner. Samsung also promised to launch Smart TVs with Google TV on several occasions. However, it appears that Samsung and LG will focus on their in-house TV platforms based on Tizen and webOS, respectively.
Expect to see lots of Android TV products at CES 2015 this January.