As if dominating the mobile space may not be enough, there are unconfirmed rumors that Google is developing the Android TV.
Google has previously ventured into the TV platform with the relatively inexpensive Chromecast that simply attaches to the HDTV port of your smart TV, With the download of a mobile app, users are able to stream content back to the TV from sources, such as YouTube, Hulu Plus, Google Play, or listen to music and watch movies that are streamed back to the television. It can all be operated from the mobile app, which can be installed on any Android device. They have also tried with Google TV, which did not meet with much success.
The approach differs from that of Google TV, which featured a single interface that combined the use of streaming, along with apps and cable signalling process in an uncomfortable process. In place of the one-size- fits-all process, Android TV appears to focus on games and apps that may be recommended or directed from search results. Android TV also appears to look a lot like the recently launched offering Amazon, known as Fire TV.
The question that is sure to arise, is why use Chromecast if Android TV is available, or are both services needed? Users may often face the dilemma of knowing which of the two platforms is preferable. Developers may also be indecisive as to where the efforts should be focused.
The major difference is that Android TV is simply for entertainment and offers no computing support. It is a seamless way to quickly find and enjoy content. The interface is simple and very easy to navigate. Access to Google Play is tightly integrated, as is easy access from Google+ and Google Now. Users can browse through the catalog of available content, but one of the stronger features and perhaps the major impetus behind Google’s development of Android TV is to provide recommendations based on your previous listening and viewing habits, in much the same manner as Google Now.
Android TV provides a way for Google to recommend its own content to users, while it also offers a full TV interface that supports specific remotes. Whether TV manufacturers adopt the platform as many mobile device manufacturers have done, is still uncertain, while attaching the Chromecast device can be more universally accepted. There appeared to be unwilling to give total control to Google.
Chromecast continues to gain momentum after its release a few months ago, as more streaming services have been added and developers are creating some interesting applications. Is it unknown if the support for either device will be splintered, or if one platform will be preferred over the other? It is a risk that Google appears ready to take, or perhaps, they may be hoping that both services will happily co-exist.
There may be a way that apps built for Chromecast will be fully supported by Android TV, which appears to be far less bulky and more versatile than Google TV. Given the track record that Google has developed, it will not be surprising to note dramatic changes in the model at any time, and although observers may speculate as to why Google is Google developing Android TV, we can surmise that there will be efforts to invade the living rooms as integration of devices continue.
By Dale Davidson