Google has taken the stage at the company’s I/O developer conference to announce its next foray into the living room: Android TV. Using Android “L” as a base, the new software will run on set-top box hardware comparable to the Apple TV or the Amazon Fire TV.
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The system will be powered primarily by voice, with the example of being able to say something as simple as “Breaking Bad” demoed on stage leaving users just a single tap away from watching the show via any one of the streaming services they have installed. Users can also get quick access to other queries and YouTube clips related to the original search, such as information about actors and actresses.
Various gaming capabilities will also ship with Android TV, enabling you to take your games to the big screen. You can launch a game on Android TV and play against friends in many multiplayer modes using a variety of devices to control the action. Android TV can be used like a Chromecast as well, which lets you stream all kinds of media to the TV through the new platform.
Razor and Asus have set-top boxes being released this Fall, and TV manufacturers Philips and Sony will have completely new full televisions running Android TV at some point down the line.
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Hello TV enthusiasts:
There is an appetite for building more intelligent computing experiences in the living room. Google Cast and Android TV help developers extend their apps to this new space. Today, we officially announced that Android TV is a new part of the Android platform for televisions, OTT boxes and set top boxes.
Here are the 3 key takeaway messages from today’s announcement:
Android TV is a part of the Android platform that is available today for developers.
Between now and L-release, Android TV is primarily for developers using the preview SDK and developer kit. There’s more to come; we’re just getting started.
Developers can use the SDK and developer kit to start build compelling experiences across every facet of TV including content, apps and games
Google is serious about Android for TV.
All of the infrastructure to support Android TV is being built directly into Android
We’re working with hardware partners to integrate Android TV into televisions, set top boxes and micro-consoles
Android TV is Android adapted for content consumption and discovery.
We’ve adapted Android for rich immersive experiences on TV, including voice search and recommendations to make it easy to quickly find great content
Developers can easily plug into voice search and recommendations, and use simple templates to quickly adapt their work to Android TV
So, as you heard today, Android TV is an open platform available for developers to create apps focused on the living room experience. The interface is content-first, cinematic, fun, fluid and fast. Right now, we’re asking developers to build simple TV apps — such as movies, shows and games.
We’re giving away the ADT-1, an OTT box featuring the platform demonstrated at I/O today, to interested developers at developer.android.com/tv. The SDK preview will be available there starting tomorrow.