Google is reportedly planning a new television venture called Android TV, after Google TV failed to make much of a dent, reports TheVerge, citing internal documents.
“Major video app providers are building for the platform right now. Android TV may sound like a semantic difference — after all, Google TV was based on Android — but it’s something very different,” the story reports. “Android TV is no longer a crazy attempt to turn your TV into a bigger, more powerful smartphone.”
According to the documents, Google wrote, "Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform. It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction." The company describes the service as “cinematic, fun, fluid and fast.”
That means the service will feel and look more like competitors already on the market, such as Apple TV and Roku.
The report adds: “The company is calling for developers to build extremely simple TV apps for an extremely simple set-top-box interface. While Android still lives under the hood, the interface will consist of a set of scrolling ‘cards’ that represent movies, shows, apps, and games sitting on a shelf. You use a remote control with a four-way directional pad to scroll left and right through different suggestions, or up and down through different categories of content, each with their own shelves. Much like on other set-top boxes, each item will be like a miniature movie poster or book cover, and you’ll pick the one you want.”
One oddity is that Google already has a TV product, the $35 Chromecast HDMI dongle, the story notes. According to the story, “The Chromecast won't go away, so that may mean developers will have to build two different interfaces, one for Chromecast and one for Android TV.”
The report adds: “Google still wants the living room, and Android TV could be a foot back in the door.”