Where manufactures have been battling it out on the phone front for years, the fight has started to shift to other platforms in recent times. For example we are now seeing more and more companies showing interest in smartwatches, with the likes of Google developing dedicated platforms for such devices. And then there is the TV. Apple and Microsoft already have respective platforms for the television. Today at I/O, Google has announced Android TV. It is the successor to Google TV, which didn’t exactly go as plan for Google. Will Android TV finally be the answer?
Android TV isn’t a new platform. It’s the same OS that powers smartphones and tablets. It even has the same SDK as Android for phones and tablets. What Android TV will require is a remote with a d-pad and some form of voice input. A singular SDK will allow developers to bring their apps from smartphones and tablets onto the TV, and the other way around as well. Google intends Android TV to be used on gaming consoles, set top boxes and even TV sets. The user interface will follow the same design guidelines as we saw on Android L.
As mentioned above, navigating Android TV is done with a remote with a d-pad. However it can also be done via an Android phone or an Android Wear smartwatch. You can even use voice commands to play or search different content. There will be a Play Store for Android TV which will display apps designed for the big screen. You can even play games using a d-pad, or even your Android smartphone.
Play Store for Android TV will launch in the fall and will coincide with the release of Android L. Televisions released in 2015 from Sony, Phillips, TP vision and Sharp will run on Android TV. Razer and Asus will release streaming boxes running Android TV.