I want to believe. I’m all in on Android TV, I consumer all of my lounge entertainment through an NVIDIA Shield Android TV box, I’ve set up countless friends and family with Vodafone Android TV boxes and Sony or TCL TVs, I really want the platform to improve and survive, and according to at least one Google Exec, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Shalini Govil-Pai, Google’s Senior Director of Product Management for Android TV was interviewed by techhive and basically said everything a true believer in the platform would want to hear.
Let’s hit the highlights:
- there’s new hardware coming within a few weeks (apparently) and more to follow later this year
- there are now over 5,000 apps for Android TV up from 3,000 just 12 months ago
- what about Google’s commitment to the platform? To quote Govil-Pai “Google is investing and is 100 per cent committed to it”
You heard right, apparently, we will be seeing “a couple” of hardware announced in the next few weeks, so that’s at least two new Android TV devices around Google I/O time? Unfortunately, I need to pour some cold water over this, this doesn’t necessarily mean new set-top boxes, it could just be new TVs, however, that would be off cycle for their existing partners, so dedicated set-top hardware is not off the table. A new NVIDIA Shield anyone?
It’s great to hear that the app catalogue has almost doubled year on year, and here in Australia we have slowly seen more apps at least creep into testing if not fully release. However, it’s also great to hear that Google is not only pursuing new partners to bring their apps to the platform but is working with existing partners to bring their offerings up to speed with the features of the platform.
The final piece of good news is the assurance that not only is Google not pulling back from the Android TV space, something that many of us had wondered about (and would be very in character for Google), but they are actually going to double down and invest in the platform. While Shalini stopped short of suggesting Google would be bringing hardware to the market it at least looks like they will continue to drive the platform and apps going forward.
Overall this is great news for those wanting Android TV to live on, or those wanting more competition in the smart TV market to drive all platforms forward.