Google Android TV to debut at I/O developer conference in June?

By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 07, 2014 07:58 AM EDT

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Google is reportedly planning to launch an Android TV soon, and it may unveil the device at its I/O developer conference in June.

The company has already tried to take over the living room with its Google TV, but it wasn't very successful. Google is apparently ready to give it another try now and launch a new device based on Android.

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The information comes from The Verge, who has obtained exclusive information on the matter.

"According to documents obtained exclusively by The Verge, Google is about to launch a renewed assault on your television set called Android TV," reports the publication. "Major video app providers are building for the platform right now. Android TV may sound like a semantic difference - after all, Google TV was based on Android - but it's something very different. Android TV is no longer a crazy attempt to turn your TV into a bigger, more powerful smartphone," The Verge further explains.

"Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform," Google reportedly told the publication. "It's all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction. It will be cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast."

In other words, the purported Android TV will look and act in a very similar manner to other set top boxes already available on the market, such as Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon's newly-launched Fire TV.

Google's vision for its upcoming Android TV is finally simpler and easier to grasp, aiming to offer "an extremely simple set-top-box interface." This interface will reportedly consist of some scrolling cards for movies, shows, apps, and games. Users will be able to scroll horizontally through various suggestions or vertically through different categories of content, using a remote control with a four-way directional pad.

Android TV will display each item like a small movie poster or book cover, so users can easily see and select the one they want. The remote control will also feature Enter, Home, and Back buttons for easy navigation, and Google will reportedly offer optional game controllers as well. Android TV will also support voice input and notifications, but Google is reportedly advising developers to use notifications only in very limited cases.

Based on this description, the upcoming Android TV sounds very similar to the new Amazon Fire TV, which is also base on Android. Google's device, however, will display content suggestions on the homescreen.

"Access to content should be simple and magical," The Verge further cites one Google document, which also mentions that users will be able to go from the homescreen to the actual content with a maximum of three clicks or gestures. Search will still be one of the primary tools on Android TV, but it will take a back seat to intuitively understanding what users want and delivering it in a fast and fluid manner. Users will have universal search, but will also be able to search from within individual applications by pressing the Search button on the remote.

The Verge has also obtained some screenshots  (see above) that show Google's own apps, including YouTube, Play Movies, and Hangouts, but also third-party apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Vevo, Pandora, and games.

If Google does indeed plan to unveil its Android TV at the Google I/O developer conference in June, we should hear more about it soon. We'll keep you up to date as soon as we learn more, so stay tuned. 



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