Is Google Working on an Android TV Release?

by Dale Wright

Android TV

Just a few days after Amazon announced its Fire TV set-top box, Google could be set to follow suit with its own Android TV platform.  New rumors suggest that Google is close to showcasing the Android TV box, set to compete with Amazon’s device and the Apple TV.

The Verge obtained new documents purportedly related to the announcement of the Android TV.  Of the device, Google has reportedly said: “Access to content should be simple and magical,” adding that the experience will be “cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast.”  Google apparently wants to make the set-top box completely intuitive, with users able to access content category cards to easily navigate to the show they want.

Google Chromecast

For those currently confused, Google already has a TV streaming device – it’s called the Chromecast.  It costs just $35 and is a great and simple way for users to stream content to their TVs.  The Android TV set-top box is something different: it will aim to be a more complete entertainment package, for streaming movies and playing games, as well as television shows.  This makes it more of a competitor to the Apple TV and the Fire TV.

Google has reportedly said that it will still be selling the Chromecast, so presumably the cheaper dongle is for more casual users and the Android TV will be for those who want the whole package.

It doesn’t sound like there’s much to set the Android TV apart from the Apple TV and the Fire TV yet, but we’ll have to wait for an official announcement to decide that for sure.  Both the Apple and Amazon set-top boxes cost $99, and it will probably be a similar price for Google’s offering.

The Fire TV looked to be a particularly impressive device when it was launched last week and obviously the Apple TV is a fan favorite, though it’s looking a bit outdated now.  Hopefully we’ll see a next generation Apple TV box released at Apple’s WWDC 2014 in a few months – and the smart TV streaming race could get even closer.