Android TV, Wear and Auto, are three of the biggest things to come out of Google I/O this year, along with Material Design, they show that Google is really thinking about the look and feel of their entire product range and controlling the user experience. But with Android, the various OEMs who manufacture tablets and phones have made hay, with the look and feel of those devices, but according to Google’s engineering director David Burke, that’s going to stop.
During an interview with Ars Technica, Burke told them that Google is going to control the interface of their newest Android platforms.
The UI is more part of the product in this case. We want to just have a very consistent user experience, so if you have one TV in one room and another TV in another room and they both say Android TV, we want them to work the same and look the same… The device manufacturers can brand it, and they might have services that they want to include with it, but otherwise it should be the same.
It reads just like the Android One platform which Google announced during the keynote address too. The Android One platform will be stock Android, but with local content made available on each device through the Play Store. Thus allowing Google to control updates, something that’s been a sticking point for some users, and a sometimes laughing point for their biggest competitor – Apple.
Just like the Android One platform, Android TV, Wear and Auto will receive updates directly from Google. Burke described the experience on the Android TV platform as ‘more like Chrome on the desktop’. Chrome of course receives updates every 6 weeks, which resolves bugs, introduces new technology and fixes UI hinderances. This will allow Google to be fluid and dynamic with the platform, something that’s needed while the nascent platforms are in their infancy.
The good news is that OEMs will now compete on hardware, something many Android enthusiasts have been wanting for a long time on phones and tablets for a long time. Hopefully this will lead to innovative new designs for all three platforms going forward.