Google I/O: 4000 Android devices & Wear apps, 17M Chromecasts sold, Android TV/Auto growth, 1B+ users, more

Google-I-O

Google is kicking off its I/O developer conference today with its usual keynote presentation. The focus this year was the future of Android with a lot of stage time dedicated to Android Wear smartwatches, Android M, its new Android Pay service, and much more. Below we’re rounding up some of the stats and numbers shared by Google execs on stage including updates on the user base for its core services and how its new Android platforms have grown over the last year: Read more

Sony unveils new ultra-thin 4k TVs w/ Google Cast & Android TV support, new sound bars & receivers w/ Cast

Sony Electronics Ultra HD TVSony today has taken the wraps off of a handful of new products that will play nicely with Android devices. First off, the company has announced that its 4k Ultra HD televisions with support for Android TV and Google Cast will begin shipping in May. The TVs feature Sony’s X1 processor which lends itself to improved color, brightness, and upscaling. The TVs also feature the X-Reality PRO Picture Engine, which also contributes to improving those factors.

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Google unveils Nearby Connections feature turning phones & tablets into Android TV game controllers

Nearby Connections Android TV

As part of the Game Developers Conference taking place this week in San Francisco, Google is hosting its own Developer Day and updating its AdMob platform and introducing a new Nearby Connections API for developers.

Using the Nearby Connections API, developers will be able to build a connection between Android phones or tablets and Android TV into games. The Android phone or tablet will display on-screen controls, and game playback will be displayed on Android TV creating a console-like experience without a separate controller. Read more

VLC releases preview version of its upcoming Android TV app

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VLC this week has released the first preview build of its app for Android TV. VLC is one of the most popular pieces media playback software available and is loved for its support of a variety of media types and formats. The app was supposed to receive Chromecast support back in June of last year, but that never officially materialized. Android TV availability, however, may make VLC even more appealing to media lovers.

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Google releases new app with live channel support for Android TV

Google, without any sort of announcement or waning, has released a new app to the Play Store this evening called “Live Channels for Android TV.” The app isn’t compatible with any current phone or tablet running Android, but rather with Android TV powered devices. The app is meant to offer an interface with which users can navigate live TV channels. It is currently only compatible with the Nexus Player.

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Google implementing app approval process for Android TV apps

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Earlier this month, Google started accepting Android TV app submissions to the Play Store, but today, another detail about the app submission process was revealed. According to the Android developer documentation page, Google will pre-screen and approve all submitted Android TV apps. After the approval process, the apps will then be distributed for download on the Play Store (via Android Police).

Before distributing apps to the Play Store on Android TV devices, our team reviews apps for usability with a DPAD (apps) and Gamepad (games only) and other quality guidelines.

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Developers can now submit Android TV apps to the Play Store

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Continuing its barrage of Android announcements today, Google this evening has announced that developers can now start submitting Android TV apps to the Play Store. This is to be expected as the Nexus Player starts to make its way into the hands of consumers. Google says that in addition to publishing apps exclusively for Android TV onto the Play Store, developers can also extend their existing apps for TV and publish them.

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Google Nexus Player review: stuck in the middle

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For the past several years Google has been winning. The company is responsible for the world’s most popular search engine. Its Android mobile operating system has the lion’s share of worldwide smartphone shipments and the tech juggernaut’s advertising platform generates gigantic sums of money every year. So when a habitual winner like Google actually loses, it typically doesn’t handle defeat too well, and despite all of the company’s accolades, it’s been getting clobbered in one area for almost four years straight.

Google has successfully captured your desktop’s homepage and managed to work its software into the pockets of millions of people, however the Internet’s reigning search king has continuously struggled to find success in one very critical space — the living room.

Since 2010, Google has been aggressively trying to attach itself to your television, and despite several software and hardware revisions, the company has continued to come up short. However, when Google revealed Android TV during its annual I/O developer conference earlier this year, hordes of cord-cutting couch potatoes were optimistic about what the future might hold.

Fast-forward to today and Google’s first Android TV-powered device has been deemed fit for full duty by the company’s leadership. But does Google’s Nexus Player have enough bells and whistles to stand out in an extremely crowded space loaded with cable boxes, game consoles and other TV-friendly contraptions?

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Google confirms that a second-generation Chromecast is on the way

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Google’s first Android TV device is less than a fortnight away, however the company’s current television-friendly hardware appears to be doing just fine. In a recent interview with GigaOM, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said that Chromecast users have tapped the cast button 650 million times, a significant increase from the 400 million figure shared at I/O back in June.

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Android TV port might finally make that Ouya you bought worth the money

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If you’re one of the unlucky few who purchased an Ouya at some point in the last few years, you now have reason to celebrate. While the Nexus Player—which was announced last week—was the first Android TV device to hit the market, it looks like the Ouya might have effectively become the second. Amazingly, the Android TV operating is in the process of being ported to run on the Ouya by a team on the xda-developers forum lead by member cbwlkr.

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