Google I/O 2014: Android TV is Official, Coming this Fall

Android TV

It’s official. Google I/O is underway, and it has been amazing so far if you’re a fan of the Android platform. As expected, they unveiled the Android TV platform to the world, and it looks to be a set top box worth getting excited about.

Google has gone down the TV road before with Google TV, which didn’t pan out like they’d hoped. Android TV hopes to change that, and it has a secret weapon in its arsenal its predecessor lacked. It’s called gaming, and it gives Google’s new box an instant advantage on Roku and Apple.android tv

Android TV wasn’t really shown off in hardware form, but they demoed the software side for a somewhat excited crowd. In a nutshell, it’s Google’s version of the Fire TV with some Apple and Roku thrown in for good measure. It’s not a bad thing considering all those boxes have been successful; just don’t expect anything groundbreaking out of the gate.android TV UI

The UI will be familiar to anyone who’s used a streaming set top box, and all the applications you’re used to will be present like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu, etc.… That said, I noticed Showtime Anytime which is something you currently can’t stream with the Chromecast, so you can expect a huge amount of content on Android TV. You can control it all with your voice, a handset or tablet or a smartwatch running Android Wear.0000000

They spent a significant amount of time going over the interface, but not much time on gaming. Two live demos were shown, and while they were impressive, they were brief. You’ll be able to use a gamepad, smartphone or tablet with Android TV, but the hardware is up in the air at the moment. Google only said they have teamed up with hardware OEMs to develop Android TV boxes.android tv gaming

No date was given for the first Android TV box, but “this fall” is the general time frame. As different boxes (and 4K TV sets) will be available, pricing is going to vary depending on the manufacturer. We still have our fingers crossed that Google will put out their own version like they did with the Nexus line. Stay tuned, we’ll have a lot more about Android TV as the year rolls on.

Adam is a tech aficionado and Android enthusiast. When he's not checking out new tech, you can find him playing poker or binge-watching shows on Netflix.