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Hello, Android TV! Good-bye, Google TV!
Google is planning to ditch the “Google TV” name of its not spectacularly successful entertainment product in favor of “Android TV,” which is what Google TV devices will apparently be known as in the future.
The move is not yet officially confirmed by Google, but GigaOM says that it has received confirmation on the name change:
[…] an executive from a consumer electronics manufacturer that has been producing Google TV devices confirmed the rebranding in a recent conversation with GigaOM, saying “They are calling it ‘Android TV.’”
Furthermore, there appears to be plenty of evidence suggesting that Google is getting ready to ditch the Google TV name.
A recent Google TV Seoul-based developer event was called “Android TV Developer Day,” with some developers seen changing their “affiliations” from Google TV to Android TV.
Similarly, some new Google TV products are not sold as Google TV by their manufacturers including a Sony Bravia TV but also new LG devices that have been described as Android devices “with access to ‘the latest Google services for TV.”
That doesn’t mean that the entire Google TV business is going down, even if it’s not a very successful one. It just looks like Google wants to change its name and bring it closer to Android – after all, it’s running Android OS.
Moreover, it looks like a next generation of Android TV devices is in the works, although no specific products have been revealed.
The publication does say that Google will not require Android TV makers to follow certain hardware guidelines – like the inclusion of a full QWERTY keyboard – and instead that it will let them design their own devices and customize them as they see fit (when it comes to preloaded services and apps).
When it comes to software, existing and future Android TVs are expected to be updated to the latest version of Android (the upcoming KitKat in this case), although we’re not quite there yet.
While we wait for Google to make official these Google TV-related changes, we can’t but wonder whether a name change will be enough for Google TV to finally become the successful project Google hoped it would be, especially considering the increasing popularity of Google’s other TV-related project, the Chromecast.