Google to Attempt Re-Launch of Android TV

Android TV
Android TV

Google Inc. still imagines a world in which people talk to their TV, commanding it to switch from ESPN to YouTube, start playing “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix or answer “What’s the weather like tomorrow?”

But nearly four years after struggling to achieve its vision and watching it flop, Google this week declared that it will try again. At the Google I/O conference for application developers, the company demonstrated a system that purports to tie various devices together to deliver quick access to movies, television shows, video games and Web videos on smartphones, tablets and TVs.

Google’s new run at television validates the importance of owning a piece of the living room, said Colin Dixon of the tech consulting firm nScreenMedia.

The Android operating system simplified work for mobile device manufacturers and now powers about 70% of smartphones worldwide, according to IHS. Forecast by MarketsandMarkets to be worth $265 billion by 2016, the smart-TV market could be far more lucrative for Google.

Engagement, and thus the value of ads, goes up when someone’s watching on a television compared to other screens, Dixon said.

“Google has such a large footprint across smartphones, tablets and other devices that they could create an experience so slick that it’s difficult to match,” he said. “Over time, it is potentially very disruptive.”

Still, the new approach is less bold than the previous attempt. When television sets and media consoles powered by the new Google software arrive as early as this fall, some analysts said, very little could separate Google from long-standing competitors.

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The Los Angeles Times



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