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Google plots Android TV service to rival Apple, Roku and Amazon

Looks to avoid mistakes made by Google TV
Mon Apr 07 2014, 11:14

GOOGLE REPORTEDLY plans to launch a television interface based on its Android mobile operating system, following the failure of Google TV.

That's according to documents obtained by The Verge, which detailed Google's yet to be announced Android TV project.

The Verge reported that, unlike Google TV, Android TV will not aim to turn televisions into giant smartphones. Instead, the leaked documents say, "Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform. It's all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction."

The document added that the service will be "cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast".

Google Android TV with Hulu and Netflix apps

The report claimed that Android TV will be similar to competing services, such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon's recently announced Fire TV set-top box. To bring the project up to speed with rival services, Google reportedly has signed-up major video app providers to the service, which reportedly are already working on Android TV apps. What's more, if leaked screenshots are anything to go by, the service will launch with Netflix, Hulu, Hangouts and Plants vs Zombies onboard.

The documents also revealed that Google is planning an easy to use, card-based user interface, and apparently is urging developers to keep apps developed for the service simple.

"Access to content should be simple and magical," the leaked Android TV documentation read.

Android TV will also ship with a remote control with a four-way directional pad to scroll left and right, and apparently, much like Amazon's Fire TV, will launch with optional game controllers. The included remote control reportedly will also include voice input recognition.

While this all sounds well and good, the incoming launch of Android TV sees like a weird strategy for Google, given its quest to dominate the TV market with its Chrome-based Chromecast dongle. However, The Verge report claimed that Google will continue to sell the HDMI dongle, but this will mean that developers will need to create different apps for the two platforms.

As we uncovered on Friday however, a lot of developers aren't too keen on developing for the Chromecast, with UK broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and Sky telling The INQUIRER that they have no plans to develop apps for the dongle at present. 

Google has yet to comment on the report, and it's currently unclear when Android TV will arrive. µ

 

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