Google has been a struggling entity in the TV space with its previous initiatives, and not afraid to shy away from our living rooms, the Big G has announced its new Android TV initiative. All details can be found right here.
Google TV was a marked failure for a company accustomed to success, but undeterred, last year’s introduction of the immensely successful Chromecast atoned for the earlier blip, and proved that the Big G does have a stake in the living room. Android TV, a new piece of open-source software just announced at this morning’s I/O, sees the company even further invest in set-top space, and if anything, it could be more significant than Chromecast.
Some reckoned Android TV would see Google roll out some new hardware, but indeed the opposite is true. Like how Google builds the Android software for smartphones and tablets and allows third-party OEMs to come up with the devices, software will be created and maintained by the Mountain View company, with TV-making manufacturing partners able to embed Android TV into systems.
With the set-top market having become saturated with the likes of the Roku, Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV, Google is attempting to beat its competitors to the draw by effectively eradicating the need for any additional standalone hardware, and with the company’s own Play Store playing a major role in proceedings, it could be Google’s shoo-in to dominating this particular market.
For those already in ownership of a TV and with no plan on upgrading any time soon, many vendors will be making Android TV-ready set-tops for existing set-ups, so if you’ve just splashed out on a brand-new set but are interested in these developments, you’ll be pleased to know that companies like ASUS and Razer will have you covered.
From next year, companies including Sony, Sharp and Phillips will be releasing televisions with Android TV baked in, and on first impressions, it looks as though Google has gotten things right this time around.
Google being Google, it should come as little surprise that Search is a massive part of the bargain, and with a neat, intuitive interface and context-based info through Knowledge Graph, it’s essentially Google TV v2.
As you would also expect, your Android smartphone / tablet will operate harmoniously with the Android TV experience, and even your Android Wear smartwatch can be used as a convenient controller.
Do you think Google has finally nailed it with Android TV, or were you expecting a little more than this? As ever, be sure to leave your thoughts below.