The recent introduction of Android Fire TV has renewed the conversation about the connected living room, though it’s not one that really ever left our thoughts altogether, especially with all this talk about a new Apple TV hanging over our head. There’s also been a rumor going back a while now that Google itself might be taking another stab at the TV, with an effort just a little more substantial than Chromecast. While last year we were talking about something like a gaming console, the story has now shifted to something much more media-focused, and a leak that arrived this past weekend attempts to show Google’s progress towards this so-called Android TV.
While it would run Android, and support apps, this Android TV sounds like a very different experience from what we’re used to on Android phones and tablets, with a substantially pared-down and simplified UI. Scrolling cards would represent media, and a handheld remote would let users navigate through the content. Docs describe the path leading users to media as “simple and magical,” with the note that it should never take more than three inputs to get from the home screen to the TV episode or movie you’re looking for.
Third-party support is expected from big names like Netflix and Hulu, and of course YouTube and Play Movies would be included. The gaming situation is a little unclear, but with rumored support for optional game controllers, it sounds like Google is intending to have gaming be at least a partial focus for the system.
But what would an Android TV box mean for Chromecast? What would Google even be thinking about charging for it? Would Google make the box itself, or bring in a hardware partner? Could we see this UI migrate to Android tablets? Will Google avoid the missteps of Google TV? Questions abound, and we’ll be curious come Google I/O time to see if any answers are forthcoming.
Source: The Verge