Google introduced Android TV at its I/O conference today, marking a service that looks like its Apple and Roku counterparts but stresses gaming as a key component. Android TV will host YouTube and Netflix as apps in Google Play’s TV segment, along with Hulu and even PBS Kids.
This effort certainly outshines the 2010 Google TV attempt, as this version looks comfortingly similar to its competitors while offering an evolved search feature that lets users browse based on information relevant to their favorite shows (not just names). Android TV also hooks up to the Google Play Games network, complete with a controller and the ability to play multi-player games online. Getting even fancier, the streaming service allows user to control the software via an Android Wear watch, if they have one.
Android TV will also feature a voice search. By speaking the name of their show of choice into an Android smartphone, said show’s listings will appear on the connected television set. Google’s TV service will also take stock of a user’s most-watched programs, displaying similar recommendations on the home screen, not far off from Netflix’s suggestion model.
Android TV comes a year after the launch of the Google’s Chromecast adapter, which simply connects the web to TV screens. The popular device lacks the screen-based guide, gaming aspect, and remote control included in Google’s newest TV watching edition.
Sony Electronics, Sharp, and TP Vision serve as manufacturing partners for the platform.