Google allows Android smartphone makers to “skin” the user interface, meaning that Android looks different on each phone. The same will not be possible for TV makers who adopt Android TV.
No skins for Android TV
Android TV will look identical on TVs from Sony, Sharp and Philips as Google wants full control over the software and experience.
This means that you will see the same consistent user interface on all TVs, media boxes and even game consoles that will run Android TV. The initiative also means that Google will be able to update all the devices simultaneously; you no longer have to wait for the manufacturer to release an update.
TV makers will be able to bundle apps and services, and we think it is safe to assume that for example Sony will put its Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited services on the front page, possibly even the PlayStation Now game streaming service.
We hear Sony is all-in on the new Android TV platform from 2015. All of Sony’s Smart TVs will run on the new platform. Philips is already selling TVs with Android, but not the official version. It is still unclear if the current TVs from Philips will be upgradable, but the 2015 models will run on the official Android TV platform. Sharp’s position is still unclear.