For years now we have the Apple TV which runs on a modified version of iOS to fit the layout of a full sized television. For Apple iOS users it is a bliss, a perfect extension to their range of Apple devices. It was a luxury that Android users never got. Was. The Google I/O brought us plenty of new devices, new announcements, a new Android, and plenty of first looks. One thing that Google I/O released is potentially a direct competition to the Apple TV; welcome the Android TV.
The Android TV is certainly not Google’s first attempt in reaching users in their living rooms. The previous attempts were Google TV; which failed to capture any market whatsoever, and then there is the Chromecast; which is basically just a HDMI port stick for you to stream from. This would be the first Google software though that is controllable by your own Android device on the couch. It would also be able to be controlled by the slew of Android Wear devices we see in the Google I/O on a limited scale. When manufacturers get this device out this will be controllable also by a remote or a touchpad provided by the manufacturer.
Notice I say manufacturers? That is due to the fact that Google will not have their own Android TV hardware. Instead they have done what they have always done with the Android; that is to work with partners like Sony, Sharp, and Philips to come up with both television sets that comes with Android TV by default and also set boxes that will be connected to a television set. Asus and other manufacturers, according to reports are also looking to release and make set boxes for the Android TV.
The Android TV is built around the idea of simplicity. Just like Google search engine that would suggest search items for users the Android TV will be doing that too, plenty. The recommendations will be based on the user’s behaviour for example; frequency of use, most watched genre, similar genres, year of production and plenty more. But the Android TV will not be restricted to that only, users are allowed to search outside the parameters if they want to or need to. To search for a different content though there is no keyboard that comes with it, users simply command the Android TV to search with the integrated voice recognition built into the remote for the Android TV. It will also answer whatever question you have on what you are watching or whatever you are interested in, very much like the Google search engine.
The Android TV, while not an OUYA, emphasises plenty on gaming too. It makes sense since it will be fitted on a big screen in your living room; might as well right? With gaming, Android TV will be able to download and store games that are released in the Google Play Store. Of course the games downloaded has to support the Android TV platform. The game will be able to be controlled by gamepads that are promised to almost mimic the console experience.
Even though the Android TV has not been released, the remote and cast app has been released in the Google Play Store in anticipation of the arrival of the first hardware to arrive in a month or two time. Excited yet about the new Android TV? We are.