Google has unveiled its new TV service – Android TV. Combining games, streaming services, music and catch-up services, the device will take on the likes of Amazon’s Fire TV and Apple TV.
Google’s David Burke outlined the new platform during developer conference Google I/O, saying the company wanted to treat TV the same as phones and tablets.
Android TV can be operated via voice-commands and Google Cast comes built-in, letting users watch a movie or other content from their phone or tablet on an Android TV. Android Wear wearables can also control Android TV. Gaming is also a focus of Android TV; users can log into Google Play games and engage in multiplayer games with others.
The Android TV section of the Google Play Store will launch this autumn, whilst the likes of Sony and Sharp will all make their upcoming line-ups of TVs Android TV capable.
Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps, writing in the Google blog, said the company had considered how to invest more in its two popular, open platforms—Android and Chrome—to make it easier for users to move easily and intuitively from phone, tablet, laptop to TV, car or even watch, which had led to the summer 2013 launch of Chromecast.
“Now, in addition to Chromecast, 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 favourite 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,” he confirmed.