We are almost on the eve of the 2020 Made by Google event where we are expecting Google to release a slew of known devices, and maybe even a surprise device. One significant part of this announcement is Google’s first hardware for fully controlling your TV.
Until now Google has only released first-party Chromecast devices for your TV, allowing you to stream content from other devices. The new Google Chromecast with Google TV will be Mountain View’s first full TV device, of course right now, today, Google TV is known as Android TV, so what does this change mean for Android?
We’d argue, very little. Google has a track record to messing around with branding, some confusing, others not. Google Pay was originally launched as Android Pay, however, as Google prepared to use the brand across the web Google dropped the polarising Android brand and brought it under the major Google brand.
Polarising you say? For anyone reading Ausdroid, the likelihood is you’re an Android and or Google fan, so for you, the Android brand may be stronger. However, we would argue that across the entire ecosystem, especially with users of other platforms Google may be more neutral than Android. Of course, there’s always the haters, but the likelihood is they won’t use any Google or Android product, regardless of the brand.
The new Google TV device will still be running Android 10, with a likely update to the recently announced Android 11 for Android TV very soon after launch. Overall the leaked UI looks very similar to Android TV, and if it wasn’t for the Google TV brand in the top left corner we would have assumed this was the latest UI for Android TV.
With the retail packaging for the new device removing any doubt about the new brand, it’s clear that the future of TV for Google is Google TV. We don’t see this hurting either the TV platform or the Android brand overall. While Android fans may lament the loss of another Android line, everything that we love about the platform will be staying, including the underlying Android system.
The only anachronistic aspect of all of this is the fact that Google moved its IoT device brand away from Gooogle to Nest. Perhaps the Nest brand is stronger in other markets? From where we sit it just seems at odds with the rest of Google’s recent branding strategy to using Nest.