Google set to launch Apple TV-esque set top box called ‘Android TV’

“Every so often, some enterprising computer company will claim they’ve finally fixed the TV. They’ll talk about how they’ve turned a dumb terminal into a smart computing platform that extends your work and play to a gigantic screen. Then, we’ll watch as the idea flops because they fail to line up content deals or wind up delivering a confusing, haphazard experience,” Sean Hollister reports for The Verge. “That was the story of Google TV, which became the laughing stock of the industry after Google chairman Eric Schmidt bet that it would ship on the majority of new televisions in 2012. (He was sorely wrong.)”

“According to documents obtained exclusively by The Verge, Google is about to launch a renewed assault on your television set called Android TV,” Hollister reports. “Android TV is no longer a crazy attempt to turn your TV into a bigger, more powerful smartphone. ‘Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,’ writes Google. ‘It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.’ It will be ‘cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast.'”

“What does that all mean? It means that Android TV will look and feel a lot more like the rest of the set top boxes on the market, including Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Roku,” Hollister reports. “Google’s new vision for Android TV is less ambitious and easier to understand. 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. The controller will also have Enter, Home, and Back buttons to help get around, and there will be ‘optional’ game controllers.”

Much more, including screenshots, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another me-too product to further confuse consumers.

Related articles:
Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast – April 2, 2014
Amazon launches $99 ‘Fire TV’ hoping to rival market-leading Apple TV – April 2, 2014
Apple TV sales topped $1 bilion in 2013, becoming Apple’s fastest growing hardware – February 28, 2014
Tim Cook and Apple TV: A ‘hobby’ no longer – October 7, 2013
Apple TV dominates digital media receiver market with 71% share – May 29, 2013


  1. Apple needs to make a move. Do not worry about content now it will come later. They have all the parts to make an update: A7 802.11ac dual band Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, SDK to make gaming apps and Siri. Once they see how big it will become, then the content will come.

  2. Skating to where the puck was……

    Just what people need, Gaggle data mining their TV watching habits and have on screen advertising on the top and bottom of your screen while you search for something to watch.

    Not in my house.

  3. The more alternatives there are, the more the major players will take the majority of the sales. And right now, those major players are Apple and Roku. No one wants to spend that much time deciding which box to buy when everyone knows somebody happy with either an Apple TV or a Roku.


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