Google I/O 2014 brought us quite a few new products developed by the Mountain View-based company and, just like the rumors suggested, Android TV is one of them. As you might have guessed already, Android TV aims to bring the Android experience to our living room, but it also brings a couple of surprises.
Google officially announced today that the new Android TV platform will be integrated in Sharp’s and Philips’ smart TVs launched in 2015, as well as on a series of HDMI dongles or set top-box devices.
Android TV’s interface is, in my opinion, very similar to LG’s webOS (which is also card-based), but it goes way beyond that. Besides bringing a much easier way to navigate through menus, any Android-powered device in your home can become a remote for the Android TV.
The new entertainment platform developed by Google allows the users to search for their favorite movies or TV shows using voice search, while the results will bring up information about the movie / TV show, the actors, and its availability on your installed services.
By far the most awaited function of Android TV was the gaming component. Besides allowing the users to bring their favorite games on the screen of their HDTV, Android TV also enables them to plug in external controllers to the device running the new software platform. The final result is a gaming experience similar to the one of a dedicated gaming console.
Furthermore, you will also be able to play with your friends. At Google I/O, the company’s officials showed us how one user can control the game from the tablet, while the other can play from a gamepad.
Least, but not last, you will also be able to stream video content from your Android device to your Android TV using the Google Cast function.
After Google TV and Nexus Q, Android TV is the company’s third attempt to enter our living room, a room that’s already dominated by devices like Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, or Amazon Fire TV. Will Google be able to compete against them? We’ll see in the coming months.