Google to Unveil Pano-Powered Android TV Later This Month

Google is reportedly planning to announce the launch of its Android TV platform during the Google I/O developer conference, which is scheduled for June 25-26 in San Francisco. According to multiple sources, Android TV will be a platform rather than another device. TV and set-top box manufacturers will be able to use Android TV to deliver streaming services to televisions. The platform, with its unique Pano interface, is expected to focus on online media services and Android-based video games.

streaming“Google has been talking to a number of media services about participating on Android TV in recent months, and it is expected that the usual suspects, including Netflix and Hulu Plus, all are going to be available at launch,” GigaOM reports. “The company is likely also going to announce a few select hardware partners, which could have devices running Android TV available in the coming months.”

The user interface for Android TV centers on what the company has been calling Pano, which enables apps and related content to appear on the home screen for simple browsing of movies, TV shows, and other media.

“Content will be presented in a series of cards that can be browsed horizontally, and each movie or TV show episode has deep links into publisher’s apps, giving users the option to start playback right away,” notes the article. “That’s different from the traditional smart TV experience, where users generally first have to launch an app from a publisher, and then browse that apps catalog before they can play a title.”

With the failure of Google TV several years ago and the recent success of the Chromecast streaming stick, there is a question as to why Google would introduce Android TV. While GigaOM cites the development history and related corporate politics, the strategic reasons are also interesting.

Although Chromecast is an ideal, inexpensive solution in many ways, it is not capable of everything. “Gaming in particular will never be its strong suit, and a more powerful device capable of running full Android apps, as opposed to the Web apps that power Chromecast, could help to capture a market of casual gamers that aren’t willing to spend $500 for a next-generation game console, but still want to be able to play games that are at least as good as those on their tablet. Think of it as an Ouya done right, or as an attempt to steal some of Fire TV’s thunder.”

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.