Android TV rumors came along with the discovery of Google TV’s death. This new platform would improve upon Google’s failed attempt at taking over your living room. Rumors have been long coming, but it’s not until today that we hear about a possible announcement.
Sources “familiar with Google’s plans” say Google’s upcoming smart TV project will be announced at this year’s Google I/O, which starts on June 25th.
Android TV vs Google TV
Many of us believed that Android TV would be a platform, as opposed to a device. If the latest rumors are to be believed, this will be the case. These sources are sure Android TV will be a platform (much like Android), upon which device makers can manufacture devices.
In this sense, it will be similar to Google TV, but the software in the old and new smart TV platforms will be miles apart. Google’s Android TV should offer an autonomous experience, unlike Google TV, which had to be linked to live TV in order to take full advantage of it.
The idea is that it will feature its own video, music and other content, only using the internet as a requirement. Hopefully, it will come with all the usual partners, like Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, etc. Google has been talking to such content providers, and all is said to be going well.
Software and Pano
Google’s Android TV software is to be made with a substantial focus in simplicity. Its design language will assimilate services like Google Now and Android Wear, which work with “cards”. The difference is that this interface, known as Pano, will offer a horizontal and image-rich interface.
Based on leaks, we can say it’s a design that resembles Windows and its tiles. The secret weapon within pano falls under its organization system, though. Android TV is said to have a strong focus on content, instead of apps.
What does this mean, exactly? Traditionally, we would have to launch an app and then look for content. Android TV will allow us to look for content, then stream it from wherever it is available.
What about Chromecast?
This is a very important question – what will happen to Chromecast? The popular HDMI dongle was Google’s only successful project in the battle for the living room. Why not just stick to it?
Though Chromecast is awesome, affordable and very capable, it doesn’t offer the power a full smart TV platform could. First, it may be a bit confusing for the general consumer to have to deal with two devices at once (Chromecast and smartphone). Some people have a hard time managing one at a time! Giving independence to a single smart TV device may be more intuitive.
Furthermore, let’s remember the Chromecast for what it is – a fun, simple and affordable solution. It doesn’t have any real power for running complex apps and video games. For consumers who want a little more out of their investment, it might be worth it to go with something like Android TV.
It’s only about a month before we are in San Francisco, running all around Google I/O getting you all the content you could ever want. Let’s be patient and wait until we can learn more about this!