After smartphones, Google may be looking at smart TVs as the next growth engine for Android.
ETNews, a Korean IT portal, reports that the next version of Android will be more suitable for running on large screen devices. Industry sources told the publication that Google has worked to improve the user experience of Android on TVs, the interface between smart TVs and mobile devices, as well as the “app development environment for TV.”
That Google hopes to make Android the dominant platform for smart television isn’t exactly a surprise, given Eric Schmidt’s ultimately hollow promise from 2011 that most TVs would ship with Google TV by the summer of 2012.
We know that the Google TV platform is on its way out, with Android TV set to take its place. We’ll find out soon if the switch from Google TV to Android TV will truly bring substantial changes or is just a rebranding exercise meant to unify Google’s ecosystems. The ETNews report states that Google TV manufacturers like LG and Sony have been instructed to rebrand their products as Android TV, confirming an earlier report from GigaOm.
So far, we’ve learned that Android 4.4 KitKat would bring relatively small changes to the user operating system’s interface and functionality, but, if this report is accurate, the more substantial changes could come to the way Android runs on TVs. Google promises that KitKat will bring an “amazing Android experience available for everybody”, and an expansion in the TV world would certainly contribute to that goal.