Sunday, October 13, 2013

Google is killing off Google TV, will rebrand it Android TV

The signs were all there, and now after only 3 years since Google first debuted the Google TV platform, they’re finally ready to put it out to pasture. Well, the branding anyway. A report out of GigaOM suggests that Google will soon retire the Google TV branding in favor of something a little more familiar: Android TV.

Evidence for Android TV mounts

Although Google declined to comment, the new name transition was further confirmed by a consumer electronics manufacturer who produces Google TV devices. Don’t forget that back when Sony announced their all new Bravia TV HDMI stick, there was curiously no mention of Google TV in the press release. Instead, Sony’s marketing manager simply stated that the Bravia TV stick brought “Google services” into the living room.

This was echoed by LG who recently announced a handful of new devices, saying only that they ran Android and — you guessed it — featured “Google services for TV”. The nail in the coffin could be a Google TV developer conference held in Korea dubbed “Android TV Developer Day”. After the event, former Google TV developers soon began updating their online profiles to “Android TV”.

Sony Xperia Z1 f

A more powerful brand name

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The struggling Android platform has never fared very well in the television space, with only a few big name manufacturers ever jumping on board the GTV train. With Android 4.4 KitKat soon to become a household name (just check the candy aisle of your grocer), it only makes sense that Google is once again trying to better align the fragmented Google TV platform with “regular” Android. This was an initiative Google first took when they announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (one version to rule them all) but we all saw how that turned out.

Google TV’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update was announced back in May, and aside from giving Android developers access to newer APIs, the update was also said to bring Chromecast functionality to ARM-based devices. Since then we haven’t seen any devices actually make the jump, but LG is promising to update their devices by the end of this month, with more OEMs to follow. If Google is really planning to unify their products and renew their efforts with their television platform, blanketing everything under the same Android name is a great start. Guess Google Android TV still has some fight left in it.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hell, The Dungeon Again! Review

When you imagine what the average dungeon-crawler plays like, you most likely picture a game that looks identical to Hell, The Dungeon Again! This turn-based dungeon-em-up from Anton Skvortsov is the very definition of a dungeon crawler, with all of the elements that make up the genre clearly polished up and spat out in regular, as-you'd-expect succession.
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You know what you're going to get with Hell, The Dungeon Again!, make no bones about it – this is a tightly-designed experience that takes homage from dozens of other dungeon crawlers, and does much of it right. What this game doesn't do is, well, anything very new at all. If you're looking for a run-of-the-mill dungeon-goer, then Hell, The Dungeon Again! is your poison – but anyone looking for a more unique, bold, and clever take on the genre won't find those traits here.