In order to get Android onto every screen in the house, it must tackle the biggest screen of all at some stage. Building on the success of the Chromecast, and avoiding the pitfalls of its attempt with Google TV. It’s time to take another swing at home entertainment, this time with Android TV.
We first covered Android TV a few weeks back, detailing the platform and what to expect. And onstage at I/O we got all we were expecting and more. Google have built Android TV as a platform for others to plug into. Rolling together a Chromecast, app market, game console and TV entertainment hub which hopes to take over all areas of the living room.
Android TV: The Platform.
Google is going to have a hard time convincing manufacturers to be on-board with Android TV, given that is essentially the same as we saw back in 2010. Google TV failed so badly that the makers of the Revue box Logitech called it a “beta” product. However with dramatic improvement in the platform and the market, things could be very different this time around with Android TV.
Back in 2010, Google had just taken the lead by market share from Nokia. However this was after a huge leap in sales, and Apple were battling RIM for third place. Given the huge share of the market that Google takes up now. It may have the leverage it needs to put Android TV in a large amount of homes.
Android TV and Android all together are very different from even a year ago. Design and ability have increased dramatically. Google has been working hard to sign deals for Chromecast apps, Google Music and Google Movie and TV, meaning it had many of the slices of business already. It simply needed to put them all together on Android TV. Taking the best areas of all its competitors and making a class leader.
The biggest thing Google has is search. It’s the reason its services work so well. Gmail for instance is just one big search service. It’s a world beater in knowing what you’re looking for. Google finishes your sentences for you, tells you to turn the heating down, and wants you to go and by that boat you were looking for. So why not recommend me a new TV show to watch on my Android TV box.
Android TV will take into account all you consumed data on any version of Android you use. As well as friends recommendations and hot products. Running it though its algorithms and system. The end product is receiving recommendations for content you didn’t even know you would like. Hopefully ridding you of the Netflix carousel forever.
Android TV Now
Don’t just think this is only for Google products. Services like Netflix and Hulu will be plugging into Android TV. Content will be delivered right on the home screen, regardless of the provider. Searching by word or by voice, through any content providers you have installed. Listing it all in an easy to navigate and even easier to consume search result.
It’s yet to be known how far Android TV will plug into Google Now. But the box will be taking note of the shows you watch and the things you like. Much like it does already, users will receive notifications when your favourite shows are on. As well as new series news and reviews. Catch up TV, or TV stations maybe a thing of the past if you can get whatever content you like, whenever you want it on Android TV.
Big Screen Gaming
Not content with being the reason people don’t buy handheld consoles any more. They have things like the Xbox and PlayStation in the sights now. The controller won’t just be for flappy bird and candy crush. Android TV will be able to go after big budget games. Google ran a trailer showing Android TV’s huge ability. Running the Unreal games engine and showing outstanding graphics ability.
Having the biggest game library there is will be a huge advantage when providing family gaming. Thousands of titles for every member of the family will lead to easier decisions when choosing a service whilst stood in the electronics store. All using a physical controller and allowing multiplayer, both in person and across the internet. Google showcasing a match between a player on Android TV and another on tablet.
As a big Chromecast user, this is exactly what I wanted for my main TV. The ability to search through whatever service’s I use all in one place. No more opening 3-4 different apps to find something to watch or play. Providing the hardware that is available is not too intrusive, or even better is built into a new TV set I will be snapping up an Android TV. What about you, is it enough to change the way you watch TV altogether?