Android TV officially announced at Google I/O 2014, release this fall along with Android L
At the Google I/O conference’s keynote session on Wednesday, Google along with Android L took the wraps off a new version of Android for the living room called Android TV. The Android TV is the successor of Google TV and it brings a new user interface to the gaming consoles, TVs and set top boxes. The Android TV adds Android along with usual content such as music, apps, games and movies to the big screen.
Google has claimed that it uses only one Android SDK for all the form factors and hence, it will be an easier task for the developers to build apps and games for the large screen device like how it was for the smartphones and tablets. With a streamlined user interface, the Android TV will display the live content at the front and users can surf how they do with a traditional TV. Moreover, the Android TV will rely on the Material Design UI of the upcoming Android L build that will add the support for IPTV, HDMI and other sources.
A remote needs to have d-pad with voice input for users to navigate through the Android TV and for this reason the manufactures are making use of the same in game controller, standard remote and other control devices. Also, the Android Wear smartwatches can act as an Android TV remote control.
Interestingly, the Android TV is powered by voice and users can search and navigate through the control using their voice. The results rendered by the Android TV are similar to how Google Now functions. Users can see cards and can purchase or rent the content through the Play Store.
With the Android L, developers can build applications for tablets and add the package to convert these apps for the Android TV. Also, users can enjoy playing games on the big screen and also access leaderboard and achievements via Google Play Games. It is also possible to play multi-player games by adding tablets and phones as controllers.
Furthermore, the content stored on the smartphones or tablets can be broadcasted via Android TV. The Android TV will arrive with full support to Google Cast indicating that it can integrate with Chromecast.
As mentioned above, the Android TV is believed to be launched in several form factors such as set-top boxes, streaming devices and more by the end of this year and see a wider release in 2015. It has been announced that the Sony UHD TVs that will be launched in late 2014 and 2015 and the Sharp and Philips TVs launched next year will have support for Android TV. Also, Asus and Razer are the first manufacturers confirmed to launch set-top boxes.