Google, at its I/O conference, officially unveiled their latest attempt at entering your living room entertainment system with the launch of the new Android TV platform.
It was previously rumored that Android TV would be a first-party set-top box akin to Amazon’s Fire TV or the Apple TV but it looks like Google is taking a different route by instead planning to introduce Android TV inside set-top boxes and smart TVs of a variety of third-party companies including Sony and gaming company Razer.
Android TV will be based on Android L, the next version of Android that the company also announced at the conference, and will feature a slew of features including voice control that will allow users to not only navigate through the OS but also search for content both locally and online from sources like Google Play and YouTube. Another form of control that Google is bringing with Android TV is the ability to control your television with an Android device including even an Android Gear smartwatch like the LG G Watch.
Google is also bringing Google Play Games to your television with Android TV. The games can be controlled either by an Android smartphone or tablet or a controller that may be included with a few Android TV-based devices. The games will also support online multiplayer and achievements on the Google Play Games network. The new operating system will also feature full support for Google Cast giving it the same features as Google’s Chromecast.
The Android TV UI will feature a card-based design with horizontal rows of content where users can browse through all their content, apps, and games as well as content recommended to them by Google. The Android TV design will keep in line with the company’s new Material Design philosophy that they announced for Android L and the rest of their products and services including Android TV.
Google has announced that the new OS will be supported by all of Sony and Sharp’s 4K and Smart TVs in 2015 and companies like Razer and Asus are also producing set-top boxes and consoles that feature Android TV.