Google tried it hands a few years back at creating a set top box with Google TV which enjoy a measure of success but was eventually abandoned by the search behemoth. Now, according to a report from GigaOM, Google is trying its hand again, this time, rebranding its set top box as Android TV. According to the report, Google is set to announce Android TV at Google’s very own developers’ conference, Google I/O later this month. However, there is going to be a major difference between Google TV and Android TV; the latter is meant to be a platform upon which manufacturers can build their smart TV experience much like the Android Operating System for mobile devices.
Also noted from the report, Google has supposedly been in talks with manufacturers and service providers to ensure that there are numerous options and services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix available at launch in addition to manufacturers putting out the hardware. In addition, it seems like the Android TV experience is not just going to be focused on media consumption, instead, Google wants to appeal to casual and hardcore gamers by banking on the games able to run on the Android ecosystem – OUYA anyone? It looks like Google may have created a platform for both the OUYA as well as other manufacturers to benefit from.
Pano – The Android TV Interface
Apparently, Google is holding back on the interface opting to go with a more simplistic feel. The interface, which was originally leaked by TheVerge looks to be similar to that of the
Metro Modern UI in Windows 8 with one major difference – accessibility. According to the report published by GigaOM, the Pano interface will allow individual content pieces to be displayed on the screen with options to stream it immediately without going into the application. This interface also sets Android TV apart from other set top boxes simply because of its removal of the intermediate steps to get to the content.
“Content will be presented in a series of cards that can be browsed horizontally, and each movie or TV show episode has deep links into publisher’s apps, giving users the option to start playback right away. That’s different from the traditional smart TV experience, where users generally first have to launch an app from a publisher, and then browse that apps catalog before they can play a title.”