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”.
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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.