We have talked pretty extensively on the Talk Android Podcast about how Android TV looked like it was dying. We hadn’t seen a new device anytime recently, and it just seemed like, with the recent expansion of Google Cast capable TV’s, casting was the true future/focus of Google in the TV market. Well Google took a decent portion of its keynote today to assure us that Android TV is far from dead, and in fact will soon be better than ever.
With the Android N release coming up soon Android TV is going to get some new features. Some of these features are pretty awesome including:
- Picture in Picture to allow you to watch your show while searching the web or downloading a new app/game
- Recording APIs to add DVR capability to your Android TV
- High Dynamic Range for 4k Android TV setups
It is awesome to see some new features coming to Android TV. These are all useful features that are really going to enhance the usefulness of existing and upcoming devices. In addition to these new features some huge new apps are going to be launching for Android TV in the coming months. CNN, Comedy Central, MTV, Freeform, Nickelodeon, Spotify, STARZ, WATCH ABC, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Junior, ESPN and many more are slated to launch for your Android TV device very soon.
Google has also assured us that we will be getting new devices from multiple manufactures to take advantage of these new features and apps. Sony and Sharp are beefing up their lineups with the addition of Sony’s 2016 BRAVIA and Sharp’s Net Player coming later this year. New manufactures are also jumping into the fold with RCA’s first ever Android TV as well as Xiaomi’s upcoming 4K set-top box. Europe will also be getting some great new devices from manufactures Beko, Grundig and Vestel starting in June.
While the future of Android TV now looks bright ,Google is simultaneously ramping up its Google Cast effort to get its products into more and more living rooms. In March we saw Google’s first third-party cast enabled TV’s from Vizio, but it now looks like we will be getting a heck of a lot more cast enabled devices very soon. Vizio will soon be joined by a lineup of TVs from Magnavox, Philips, Polaroid, Toshiba, and Westinghouse. With the ease that Google Cast makes bringing a world of entertainment to your living room, it is great to see this cheap and easy technology expanding across a wide berth of manufactures.
Alas, Android TV is, thankfully, not dying. If you listened to pretty much any of our TalkAndroid Podcast episodes you know that we thought it was all but gone. Many of us didn’t even think it would get talked about at Google I/O. Personally, I thought it was too important to let it die, but thats the direction I saw it going. Google surprised us all, showing us that Android TV is far from dead, and I am excited to see all these new devices and features when they arrive later this year.