At the I/O conference today, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled its Android TV software, which will run on set-top boxes. The software allows users to speak commands to the TV and also features a smart home screen that’s designed to make recommendations to users based on what they watch, a la Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). The software is able to not only find content in the Google Play store but also with partners Hulu and Netflix.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) has also included its Knowledge Graph into the Android TV software to make search the focus of the entire experience.
Details on Google’s Android TV
The software comes after the search giant’s Chromecast, a small device that plugs into TV sets and allows users to stream video from their tablet or smartphone to their TV. But Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn’t entirely forgetting about the success it found with Chromecast. Management said Android TV includes support for Google Cast, enabling users to use it similar to the Chromecast device.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) said it will launch the Android TV store sometime this fall. The story will connect to Google Play. Users will be able to use the controller that comes with devices loaded with Android TV. Gamers can play multiplayer online games and earn achievements through Google Play.
Google partners with Sony, Phillips
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) management said they have partnered with Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and Phillips for Android TV. Both companies will be installing the software into their smart TVs. Other partners include LG U+, Razr, Asus and Bouygues. The companies are also working with other hardware manufacturers to develop set-top boxes for Android TV that are targeted at gamers.
Today’s announcement about the Android TV doesn’t come as a big surprise. The technology community has been buzzing with leaks about the software for quite some time. One Android developer even accidentally posted an app update that featured safe-zone and split-screen support for the Android TV software last night.