Quick Thoughts on AndroidTV
Google just announced their new AndroidTV platform at Google I/O 14. It rethinks their entire Google TV strategy and seems like an interesting and fresh take on the smart television experience.
One of the more surprising announcements was that they have a few hardware manufacturers that will be embedding AndroidTV into their 2015 line of smart televisions: Sharp and Sony will run Android TV.
First thought: Oh boy, this means they'll never get updated with new features.
Second thought: Actually, no, maybe this means they WILL be updated! Because seriously, when has an embedded OS inside an OEM's smart TV ever been updated (and enjoyable to use)? Maybe handing the keys to a third-party is actually the right thing to do?
That said, I still would rather have a separate, more powerful, and cheaper set-top box that handles my "smart television" needs. But maybe this will make smart TV's in general more enjoyable to use.
But this is Google writing software for a TV. That will be better by default. I'm not saying it'll be fantastic, I have no idea, but it'll easily be better than previous embedded software.
I'm excited about it. As a Google TV user, I've been very displeased with how long the hardware has been neglected. I look forward to seeing what Android TV is capable of.
BTW, the real problem with embedded software on TVs is that you can never upgrade the hardware it runs on. TVs have a far longer life cycle than any set top box ever has. We'll see whether things are changing there, but I will be buying one of the set top box versions of Android TV.
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