"Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform," writes Google. "It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction." It will be "cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast."
Unlike Google TV, Android TV is more similar to the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. It's less ambitious and simpler. The interface consists of a set of scrolling cards that represent movies, tv shows, apps, or games. You can scroll left or right through suggestions or up and down through categories. The controller has enter, home, and back buttons for navigation and the device will support "optional" game controllers.
Similar to the Fire TV, Android TV will support voice input. It also supports notifications; although developers are asked to only use notifications in limited cases.
Google reportedly has major video app providers working to create new apps for the platform. It also hopes to differentiate itself with recommendations:
What makes it a Google product is that Android TV will suggest those pieces of content on the homescreen itself. While you can dive through a collection of apps and games if you want, the goal isn’t to have a user select an app like Hulu and then browse through things to watch. Google wants to proactively recommend things to you — including the ability to resume content you started watching on a phone or tablet — as soon as you turn your TV on.
"Access to content should be simple and magical," reads one Google document.
The Information reports that Google may launch its set-top box in the first half of this year heating up the battle for the living room. Amazon has just released its Fire TV set-top box and Apple is rumored to be releasing an update to the Apple TV shortly.
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