Google to unveil Android TV set-top box at Google I/O

Android TV UI
With less than 24 hours to go for Google I/O, Google’s version of the WorldWide Developer Conference, Wall Street Journal confirms that Google will unveil a new television set-top box to compete with Apple’s Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV.
WSJ reports:
During its developer conference Wednesday, the search giant plans to show off at least one small set-top box that resembles products like the Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Apple’s Apple TV, according to two people who have seen the device.
Google’s device will carry another company’s brand, but will be powered by Google’s new Android TV software designed to play movies, games and other content on televisions, the people said. Users will be able to control the box using Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices.
The report claims that Google will offer a flavor of Android software called Apple TV to manufacturers to power their televisions, a strategy that has worked successfully for it with smartphones and tables.
Google is said to include a focus on videogames at tomorrow’s event, which are among the most popular apps on smartphones and tablets. One of the major features of Android TV, will be the ability for games to work seamlessly between mobile devices and televisions. So a user playing a game on his or her smartphone while on the go, will be able to resume playing the game on an Android TV powered television at home. Developers will also be able to take advantage of the larger screens, and offer split-screen, multiplayer games.
Google has launched two streaming TV platforms so far. First is the Google TV, which failed despite Chairman Eric Schmidt’s claim of it being on most TVs in the US, and the second is the recently introduced Chromecast, a $35 HDMI dongle.
Couple of months back, The Verge had reported that Google is paying special attention to the ease-of-use of the TV interface through the remote, and doesn’t want more than three clicks to go from the home screen to playing media. They had also published screenshots of the user interface, which as you can see below looked quite sleek.

Android TV UI channels
Apple is also expected to unveil the next generation Apple TV set-top box later this year, which is said to play a “key role” in Apple’s ecosystem. The new device will include a plethora of innovative new features including motion control, which will allow users to interact with the device without the need for a remote control.
It could come with a “revamped OS” that’ll be able to run its own apps and games rather than relying on iPhones and iPads via AirPlay.
It will be interesting to see what Google announces at Google I/O tomorrow. Our sister website Android Beat will be bringing live coverage of the Google I/O Keynote, so don’t forget to follow Android Beat’s Twitter, Facebook or Google+ page for the latest updates.
[via WSJ]

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