Google’s TV branding is a mess. After dropping the original Android-based Google TV system in 2014, switching to Android TV, then focusing on the low-power Chromecast line, the newest Chromecast runs “Google TV.” Which is an interface built on Android TV, but which isn’t the original Google TV. Now older Android TV boxes are getting some Google TV features.
The new “Google TV” is basically a launcher running on top of Android, one that focuses on amalgamating all of your video content into deep links on the home page. And with the latest update to Android TV (the operating system running on devices like the SHIELD and Sony’s smart televisions), more and more of those features are coming over to the older operating system.
Android TV still shows a row of apps first and foremost, but after that it’s the collection of shows and movies that show up irrespective of what app or service they’re played on. These selections are curated based on your watch history combined with the trends of everyone else using Android TV and the apps it needs to power its content.
Android TV now has a “Discover” tab that brings all of that disparate content to the forefront. Tellingly, the “Apps” tab is on the far left, as Google focuses on content over capability for these devices. Updates should be rolling out starting today in the US, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia, though of course when you get yours depends on what Android TV-powered product you have.
This update appears to be a stepping stone between the old Android TV interface and the Google TV interface that Google wants to push forward. We’re still not sure if Google intends to fully update older Android TV devices … again, the branding alone would make that a mess.
Source: The Verge