Although previously believed to be some sort of set-top box (like an Apple TV), Android TV is instead a software platform meant to be baked into various smart TVs and set-top boxes from third-party manufacturers.
As you would expect, you’ll be able to control Android TV with your Android smartphones and tablets, as well as with voice search. It’ll also work with the newly-released Android Gear smartwatches.
“Android TV brings all that you love about Android apps and games to your living room. Android is baked directly into your TV-watching experience, through a set-top box or as part of your TV. You can use voice search to find a live TV show, a good flick from Google Play, or a music video on YouTube. Plus, because it’s Android, you’ll be able to play your favorite Android games, reimagined for TV and with a gamepad. Android TV, which, like Chromecast, supports Google Cast technology, will ship with products from a range of consumer electronics companies later this year,” says Google.
The games thing is a new focus for Google in their attempt to take over the biggest screen in your house. Users will be able to play their favorite Android games via their tablets and smartphones, as well as a gamepad, and beam them straight up to their TVs.
Google has this information for developers:
In addition to Google Cast apps that send content to the TV, you can now build immersive native apps and console-style games on Android TV devices. These native apps work with TV remotes and gamepads, even if you don’t have your phone handy. The Android L Developer Preview SDK includes the new Leanback support library that allows you to design smoother, simpler, living room apps.
And this is just the beginning. In the fall, new APIs will allow you to cast directly to these apps, so users can control the app with the phone, the remote, or even their Android Wear watch. You’ll also start seeing Android TV set-top boxes, consoles and televisions from Sony, TP Vision, Sharp, Asus, Razer and more.
Google’s never been very successful in taking over your living room, but it looks like they’re giving it another full-on shot.
Image via Google, Android TV