Android TV may be introduced at Google I/O later this month
Then last year, we saw another way for Google to get into the living room, Chromecast, a nifty, simple, $35 HDMI dongle that will feed all manner of content to your big screen in the house.
With an apparent absence of Google TV on the agenda for Google I/O, one might think that Chromecast will spearhead efforts for a while, but that may not be the case. It is being reported that Google will introduce Android TV at the conference this year. Android TV will represent a new television software platform that is aimed at being simpler than Google TV, but more robust than what Chromecast is designed to deliver.
We shared some leaked images of what Android TV may look like from a user perspective a couple months ago. Hardware wise, Android TV could be a familiar form factor akin to a Roku or Apple TV, but the goal for Google is to deliver on the experience and win the manufacturers' hearts into building their televisions with Android TV.
So what makes Android TV tick beyond the fact that it is the Android operating system without a smartphone to kick around? The answer may lie in something called Pano. Pano is appearing in change logs for Android 4.4.3 and it appears to be the key to delivering content in a simple fashion as well as enabling continuation to and from a tablet or smartphone to the TV.
Android TV may also serve up a bit of gaming as well, which is something Chromecast cannot do. The idea being that people that are not serious gamers and will not drop big money on a dedicated console, may find the broader functions and features appealing.
If Google can get manufacturers on board to incorporate Android TV into their equipment, then would accomplish what is likely the main goal that was not achieved with Google TV. As for which OEM partners might take a jab at Android TV, it could very well be Sony, perhaps Vizio, maybe a few Chinese and other Japanese brands as well.
When we know more, we will let you know with our coverage of Google I/O, June 25th and 26th.
sources: GigaOM via PCMag