Android 4.4 KitKat rumored to bring greatly improved TV user experience

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 24, 2013

android tv second screen sony xperia l

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.

  • brararsh

    Big Question is the release date..If you havent signed any NDA with Goggle, please reveal it.. :P

    • Aniruddh

      Agree 100%

    • E. Schmidt

      Oct 28th

      • JBonez

        What’s Oct 28th ?

        • Damon

          Rumour has it that the N5 is being released that date.

  • Balraj

    I wish it brings some great tablet experience first -.-

  • Bone

    Improve WHAT TV experience? The one thing that’s still not very Google in 2013 is putting your TV feed onto your phone or tablet to enjoy whatever show without walking down all the way to your living room.

    What Chromecast should be doing besides putting online streams to your TV via WiFi is putting your TV stream on your mobile device via WiFi.


    Am I the only one wanting this?

    • guest

      Thats actually an app some cable companies are already providing.

      • Bone

        Over the internet, so it’s limited to connection and cable service provider… I mean there’s the HDMI connector and the WiFi radio in Chromecast, why not reverse the data stream and send TV signal to whatever authenticated Android device? There’s the top-end HW, the large widescreen, you can watch Netflix, YT and whatnot in FullHD… but you can’t watch your expensively subscribed TV channels on a device that seems to be meant for it…

        • Bone

          Tell you what I did to watch the Suzuka F1 Grand Prix on my Nexus 4 the other day. Turned on the computer which has a DVB-T tuner in it, ran Splashtop on both devices and the TV program on the PC and upsteamed the signal.. nice HD experience, but there has to be a solution where I don’t need a computer for this.

          • melitagnm105

            My Uncle Jace just got a 2012 Ford Focus ST from only workin on a pc at home… read review w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

    • Databoy2k

      Most HDMI carries some sort of encryption to prevent the necessary transcoding process for your suggestion – it’s a copyright thing. A different “with computer” solution is to set up MediaPortal’s Tv Streaming service and aMPdroid on your ‘droid. I don’t know if it gets around the same encryption issue (I use it for OTA HD ATSC broadcasts in Canada which are not encrypted) but it’s a cheap PVR that gives me TV on my Android from anywhere in the world.

      • OleBrom

        That’s why we never will have cable tv on phones. Only streaming services.

    • sling box

  • Nathan Borup

    the question is… will LG update their android TV’s to kitkat or even jelly bean

    • Trueislander

      I was wondering the same thing about my Sony Blu-ray/Google TV box

    • NeedName

      LG doesn’t do software updates. . . .

      at least nothing I’ve ever purchased from them. . . maybe they’ll be different with Android???? I doubt it.

      • Nathan Borup

        Just saw this article LG just updated their LG Android TVs to 4.2.2!

        • Skander

          Good morning.
          It’s already outdated.
          I can’t get the logic behind this, 4.3 is out for a long time now.

          • Nathan Borup

            the point is, 4.2.2 is better than 3.2. That is what it used to be

  • Izwan_Rosli

    is that sony phone?

  • Android2012

    My LG GA6400 got the 4.2.2 update yesterday. Much better performance. Don’t give up on Google/Android TV!!!!

  • Lodmot

    I’d be intrigued to see Google design Android to work on Desktop computers. Anything is possible. If done right, that could work pretty well.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Android? Work as a Desktop OS?

      That’s something will fail instantly.

  • OleBrom

    Would be nice if Samsung would update my TV to Android. and I could control it with my phone. I guess it will never happen.

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