The Android TV platform has been growing pretty rapidly over the past few years, but a lack of the company’s own hardware made many wonder what its future had in store. Today, that question has been answered. The new Chromecast has arrived with a new platform, Google TV, and it’s going to replace Android TV over the next two years.

Google TV, technically speaking, is still Android TV. In fact, it’s built on top of Android TV 10. However, this is not just a new variation designed for Google’s own hardware; it will be the TV platform the company uses on its devices and makes available to partners for third-party devices as well.

Starting in 2021, Google TV will start showing up on set-top boxes, dongles, and full smart TVs from Google’s current Android TV partners while regular Android TV devices can also hit the market. By 2022, all Android TV retail devices will be using the new platform. Currently available Android TV devices will also either be updated to the new experience or adopt some of its features over time.

For a while, these two experiences will co-exist. That may take the form of both current and new hardware, depending on what manufacturers have in mind. Right now, we’re not aware of any plans from companies such as Nvidia, Xiaomi, TCL, and others as to how they plan to adopt Google TV. Google does mention, however, that Sony will be among the first to adopt it.

The new Google TV experience delivers a completely redesigned homescreen that integrates your apps, content recommendations, YouTube TV, and more. It does feature sponsored content, using the same logic as the Android TV highlight row. Along with that, Google TV also offers new features such as an apps-only mode. As mentioned, you can try Google TV first on the new Chromecast, available today for $49.

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Ben Schoon

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