Earlier today, Bloomberg published a profile of Android head Sundar Pichai in which it was stated that Google has several Android TV announcements slated for its I/O developer conference tomorrow. The WSJ has now published another report corroborating the earlier profile. According to the report, Google on Wednesday will unveil at least one “small set-top box” running its new Android TV operating system.
The set-top box will be aimed as a competitor to devices like the Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. Google’s set-top box will carry another company’s brand, much like Android, but will be powered by Google’s OS. The set-top box will be able to be controlled by Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices.
Google’s device will carry another company’s brand, but will be powered by Google’s new Android TV software designed to play movies, games and other content on televisions, the people said. Users will be able to control the box using Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices. The details suggest that Google’s television strategy will be similar to its smartphone strategy, providing key software to hardware makers to power their devices.
There are still a plethora of unknown details regarding Google’s Android TV effort. It’s unclear at this point if Google intends to create its own “Nexus” set-top box running Android TV. It’s also uncertain if manufacturers will be able to lay skins over top of Android TV in the first place, like they do with smartphones.
Google’s presentation of Android TV tomorrow is expected to focus heavily on video games, according to the report. Google’s biggest goal for Android TV and its set-top box is for games to work seamlessly between mobile devices and televisions. For example, users could be able to pause a game on their smartphone and immediately resume it on their TV.
We’ll have coverage of Google I/O in its entirety tomorrow, as it happens.