Google TV is long gone, but Android TV may be resurrecting Google’s plans to own your living room. The Verge has obtained documents that spill the beans on what Google plans to do with Android TV. It is nothing like Google TV since Android TV is merely an interface to sit over a display and not an actual platform. So Android TV will be more like Apple TV, Roku, and even the new Amazon Fire TV. Android, of course, can be found at the core.
Philips’ new Android-powered television is certainly one to gush over. It features an eye-popping Ultra HD display and the smart TV runs Android 4.2.2 right out of the box. The televisions join Philips’ 8000 series. While the 48-inch and 55-inch models have a 1080p resolution, the 8800 is the UHD model that has the 3840×2160 resolution. Expect the 8000 smart TV series to hit shelves later this year with a slew of applications thanks to Android being at its core.
The Play Store from Google TV had eliminated the YouTube app from its offerings last month, which seemed like a complete head-scratcher at the time.
As it turns out, Google wanted to spend some time working on fixing bugs in the app— the process was finally completed today.
Along with the return of the YouTube app comes improved stability and customizable closed captions.
Source: Android Police
In a rather odd move, the YouTube for Google TV app has disappeared from the Google Play Store. According to reports, users who already had the app can still see it in Google Play as an installed app. Outside of that, the app no longer shows up. Google has not issued a statement about why the app was seemingly canceled. Potentially Google may be planning to add support for Google TV into the main YouTube app.
source: Android Police
You may be thinking it is too soon for The Walking Dead as the mid-season debut is still a couple weeks away, but lo and behold the Google TV platform is still lurking around and Google is still keeping it animated at a basic level. A couple apps key to Google TV have received an update proving the platform is not quite dead yet. The latest updates hit Google Play today and bring a few improvements to some basic search functions.
Google TV hasn’t been the company’s best venture, but that doesn’t stop other companies from expanding on the concept. At CES 2014, Hisense showed off their new set-top box, the Pulse Pro, which runs what Hisense calls Android TV v4. While it’s technically not Google TV, it runs Google TV apps and has the same PrimeTime guide.
However, Pulse Pro has some big differences from Google TV, including a very image-focused home screen design that allows for quicker access to hubs like Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Video. Also, Pulse Pro comes with a better remote that has built-in buttons for Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon in addition to a microphone and motion sensor. Pricing and availability info is still up in the air, so we’ll have to see just how well it works.
Source: 9to5 Google
Plex, the popular media streaming service, recently added support for Chromecast— to keep things up to date, the company just launched a new website with direct casting options.
Koushik Dutta has done it again. His popular app, AllCast (which doesn’t require root access), has been released to the Play Store. The app will let you stream pictures and video to pretty much any device. This includes Xbox 360, Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, Samsung and Panasonic TVs, Google TV, and all DLNA-enabled devices.
Unsurprisingly, Chromecast is not supported because it’s still heavily restricted by Google. You can download the application for free, but you’ll get ads, splash-screens, and a limit on length of videos you can watch. To remove the limitations, you’ll have to pay a $4.99 fee for the unlock key— a price well worth it when you consider what you’re getting from the app.
Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.
Nobody ever questioned the simplicity of the Chromecast. It came without any pre-release buzz, and unsurprisingly was able to create all the hype for itself at launch.
In 2014, Google will have some even bigger plans for the Chromecast.
Not only will the device launch in a number of new countries, but the SDK will be opened up so that thousands of apps can be made Chromecast-compatible, as well as a number of other devices as Google plans to partner with a number of electronics companies. The ultimate goal is to make even the most rare apps “castable.”
Google TV may be dead as a brand but Google isn’t leaving your living room just yet. Coinciding with a previous rumor, The Information is reporting that the company has plans to release a set-top box of its own in 2014. The device, which is being dubbed as ‘Nexus TV’ for now, will go head-to-head with Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon’s set-top box that was delayed to next year.
It would unsurprisingly be able to stream services like Netflix, Hulu, WatchESPN, and more while also running Android games. It is believed that games are controlled via a touchscreen controller; however, it is likely that this means Android phones and tablets can be used as a controller. Not on board is live TV, which isn’t too much of a surprise since it was a feature that failed to gain traction with Google TV. The gaming aspect is what could differentiate ‘Nexus TV’ from Chromecast because the $35 dongle has yet to, and likely couldn’t handle, gaming. ‘Nexus TV’ is rumored to stay true to the Nexus brand and deliver respected specifications at an aggressive price.
What would ‘Nexus TV’ need to make you choose it over the current crop of set-top boxes?
Source: The Information