Editor in Chief
- Jan 5, 2011
According to a new report from late last night, sources from an undisclosed electronics manufacturer shared that Google is planning to close down GoogleTV. However, they aren't killing it, rather, they plan to merge it with Android and rebrand it as AndroidTV. The intel even points out the process has already begun. Several of Google's channel partners on GoogleTV have recently released devices which are technically GoogleTV devices, but they are not calling them GoogleTV.
One example is Sony's newest BraviaTV device. Jamie Marsh, TV marketing manager for Sony Electronics, said the BraviaTV brings the full power of Google services to your TV. That's not all. Here's a quote with more of the details,
Sony isnt alone with this kind of wording. Geneva, Switzerland-based chipset manufacturer STMicroelectronics announced support for Google TV products last month, but also refrained from using the brand in its announcement, instead saying that its new SDK allows the development of Android-compliant devices and supports the latest Google services for TV. And LG recently showed off some new devices at the IBC in Amsterdam that were described as Android devices with access to the latest Google services for TV.
Even members of the original Google TV team have started to drop that name when talking about their work. A recently-scheduled developer event in Seoul was officially called Android TV Developer Day, and some developers have started to change affiliations in their online biographies from Google TV to Android TV.
What's really exciting about this change isn't just in the branding. According to the intel, Google plans to actually merge the GoogleTV team with the Android team to not only solidify the branding, but also to help evolve GoogleTV up to the newest standards of Android. Right now, GoogleTV users have basically been stuck with Honeycomb, which is several generations and several years behind all the other Android devices in the world. There is further confirmation of this from LG who have indicated they will soon be upgrading their current GoogleTV devices to Android 4.3/Jelly Bean very soon. Additionally, Google themselves recently shared they plan to make it much easier for GoogleTV developers to upgrade their products to the upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat once it becomes available.
Finally, as an interesting bit of trivia. Supposedly, the primary reason Google renewed its focus on improving GoogleTV instead of letting it languish was because of the amazing and surprising success of the Google Chromecast. It helped them realize there is still a huge untapped market out there for the right product. Overall, if this info turns out to be accurate, this is welcome news indeed!