+ Friday July 19th, 2019

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.

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan Jaffrey

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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Greg Lamb
Ausdroid Reader

A major problem is Australian companies (Channel 9, Foxtel, SBS up until a short time ago) not supporting the platform but do support others. What is Google doing about that?

Brian
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Brian

Channel 9, Foxtel and SBS are all now on AndroidTV. Hence the statement on more apps I guess. At least on Sony TVs for Foxtel (Foxtel Now), which btw works great, finally after suffering over chromecast and their bad android app.

Brad ryan
Guest
Brad ryan

I got an Android TV from kogan it’s fantastic once you work out which apps to get you can watch anything around the world ad free tv shows and movies can’t fault it also have an Nvidia shield on a standard tv and it’s just as good can’t recommend them enough

Uhyve
Guest
Uhyve

I don’t think I’d ever suggest a friend gets a TV with Android TV built in. I’ve got a Sony TV and Android TV was alright at first, but the hardware felt underpowered after a couple of years (and also stopped receiving feature updates).

People don’t replace TVs like they do phones, there needs to be more of an effort in regards to longevity. I wish Google would invest in that more than ‘more apps!’.

Chris Rowland
Ausdroid Director

As much as I’m like Duncan – I want to believe – I’m different in that “I don’t”. I’ve had a couple of Sony TVs with Android TV built in, and frankly, they suck. They’re slow, they lag, they crash, and frankly for years the app support has been dreadful.

So much so that when it came time to upgrade, we got a LG 65-inch with no hint of Android TV. LG’s TV interface isn’t perfect … but it works a lot better than Android TV ever did.

Manolo
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Manolo

I mainly want Dolby Digital 5.1 pass through on my Mibox S. Otherwise I may get whatever Google will sell to succeed the Nexus Player.

Rob
Guest
Rob

You can, sideload the last version of SPMC (Kodi fork, don’t get the one off the store). It passes through everything except DTS MA. It was an android specific fork of Kodi, unfortunately no longer getting updates, but the V17x version I found works fine for me with most latest add-ons.

JuMe
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JuMe

Looking forward to replace my ancient Nexus Player !

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