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Good bye Google TV – Discontinued in Favor of Android TV – CES 2015

Google TV has failed to take off as expected when it launched in 2010. Issues such as poor customization options, laggy apps and disappointed customers have led Google to discontinue the product. It’s developer tools and libraries will also no longer be supported and unavailable.

Google TV to be discontinuedGoogle TV had been successful to an extent in gaining developer support. It incorporated Chrome and Android features in a 10-foot interface and a QWERTY remote which allowed users to use games, apps and play online video content.

“While the Google TV libraries will no longer be available, we’ve made it really easy to transition apps to Android TV using familiar Android development tools, as well as our new Leanback support libraries,” said Google and Android TV teams.

Android TV was announced only last year, showcased on the Nexus Player set-top box by Google. This week at CES 2015, Sony announced that all of its Bravia TVs will be featuring Android TV. More companies will be partnering with Google to bring Android TV devices. Google has already identified Sony, Sharp and Philips among them.

“We expect to see an exciting lineup of Android TV devices in the coming year, including TVs from Sony, Sharp, and Philips, as well as other set-top and over-the-top boxes,” added the teams.

Favourable reports have been coming in from CES 2015 in Las Vegas that the Android TV hardware has been featured on several TV manufacturers. Sony, Sharp and TP Vision have expressed support for Android TV. Support for the platform has also been confirmed by chip makers including Qualcomm, Nvidia, MediaTek, Intel, Broadcom and ARM.

Bugs may still appear sporadically on the Android TV, but there is little doubt that it is still far superior to the discontinued Google TV. It’s better hardware features make that possible alongside its simplicity and newer software to make Internet TV streaming advance even further.

Other manufacturers like Huawei and Razer have also expressed willingness to support the product.

Google Announce Launch Date of Nexus Player Streaming Box

Google already have a large slice of the streaming hardware market with the phenomenally successful Chromecast stick. And now they are after some more, having announced a new set-top box that will take care of streaming as well as playing games.

Nexus-PlayerThe new Nexus Player running on the Android TV platform is a little unusual, as it is round rather than the standard square shape that these boxes tend to be. It is small (around 4.5 inches) comes with 8GB ram, and has a remote that allows both physical and voice control just likethe Amazon Fire STB.

The Android TV OS was revealed to the world back in June, and is designed to allow easy access to stream music, movies, and TV shows as well as play Android games.

The Nexus Player which is made for Google by Asus, also supports a game controller, which is available separately. And it will mimic the functions of the Chromecast stick, supporting the “Cast” feature that lets users stream videos from Android, iOS or Chrome OS to the TV.

The box will give users access to streaming movies and TV shows from services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Play, YouTube amongst others, as well  as music and videogames.

The Nexus Player will sell for for $99, and an additional $39 for the game controller, and can be pre-ordered from the Google Play Store on Friday (October 17).

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Amazon Instant Video App Coming For Android

The Amazon prime instant app for Android has always been seen as a bit of an afterthought, only working on certain tablets at present. But Amazon are said to be rectifying that situation by launching a universal working version.

amazon-instant-android-appThe service is already available for the Kindle Fire tablet, iPhone and iPad, games consoles and smart TVs, and via a browser on laptops and desktop PC’s.

The news of an android app comes from PC Advisor, who say the app is imminent after speaking to Russell Morris, who is the marketing director at Amazon Instant Video.

The Amazon Prime Instant Android app will offer Prime subscribers access to unlimited streaming of a number of titles on Android smartphones and tablets, along with access to the Instant Video library which is pay-per-view .

Many presume that the app has taken so long to be released just so that Amazon could promote and sell their Kindle Fire tablet more, as it happened to have a working app.

Morris also said that 4K streaming is also coming to the Prime Instant Video service later this year, with all the Amazon Studios original content being filmed in 4K Ultra HD quality.

Morris did not specify a date for the Amazon Instant Android app, or even confirm that it will work with all android smartphones and tablets. But as Netflix have managed to make it work, one would assume Amazon can as well.

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Netflix App Launches In Super Quick Time For Android TV

We have barely had time to digest the news of the Android TV OS launching, but it hasnt stopped developers getting in with compatible apps. And one of the very first is coming from Netflix, who are offering their unlimited streaming app for the Android TV platform.

AndroidTV-NetflixEven though nobody can run the app yet as it has not been released to the public, it seems a shrewd move by Netflix, as just like the Chromecast stick, Google seem to have eventually got the hang of an internet TV platform and Android TV is expected to be running on millions of devices pretty soon.

At present only developers can access Android TV via the Developer Preview Kit (ADT-1), but sometime this year it will be running on a number of connected devices such as a Smart TV or a set top box. The OS will allow consumers to watch broadcast TV, Streaming services and access online content all from a single interface.

The Android TV app which can be downloaded from the Google PlayStore has all the expected features of other Netflix apps, and gives users a slick interface to access unlimited movies and TV shows, as well as watch lists, ratings and recommendations.

Google Launch Android TV Offering Streaming, Games And Casting

The world loves a trier, and Google are certainly that when it comes to connected TV operating systems. From one end of the scale is the flop that was Google TV, and then the blockbustingly successful Chromecast dongle. And now just to confirm things come in three’s, Google have launched the Android TV OS which will combine streaming, games, music and catch-up services.

Android-TV-GoogleThe software announced at Google’s annual I/O developer conference will run on a number of devices including Smart TVs, set-top boxes, and game consoles, with synchronization and control features available from phones, tablets and smartwatches.

Android TV is basically a reworking of the Google TV OS with the familiar Android front end specially adapted for TV watching. The software overlays icons and apps over whatever is being watched either live, streamed or on-demand. The sophisticated search engine can recognize voice commands. and will pick up shows from a number of sources both from streaming services and broadcast TV.

By talking into a phone or tablet, Android TV will provide content sources, recommendations for films, shows and apps. So if for example a user searches for Sons of Anarchy, they will get streaming options from Netflix, and Google Play while also offering cast details and clips. Clicking on a cast member will give a list of films and movies they have starred in.

Playing games will also be a big feature of Android TV, with interaction between the big screen and different controllers including tablets and smartphones.

Android TV devices will also be compatible with the Chromecast stick, offering inbuilt casting features that will mirror what is running on a phone, Chrome OS, or tablet to the Android TV device. Google also confirmed they have sold millions of Chromecasts.

Android TV enabled devices from partners including Sony, Sharp & TP Vision are expected to start hitting the stores by late 2014, and dedicated apps will arrive in the fall to coincide with the new Android OS

Google Set To Launch Android TV Platform This Month

After it’s first attempt at an online platform flopped, Google are moving on from Google TV. The search giant are said to be ready to launch the next incarnation of it’s streaming TV platform, with the imminent release of the Android TV software this month.

Android-TV-GoogleThe expected announcement according to Gigaom will come at the 7th I/O developers conference in San Francisco on 25th of June, and will offer developers a platform to bring smart TV and games to selected hardware.

The Android TV service will be similar to the now pretty much forgotten Google TV concept, that offers a TV and internet service along with downloadable apps.

Android TV will run on a new UI known as ‘Pano’ which presents content using a new card-style interface and will give instant access to content within apps. So if searching for a paticular show or movie, a user can run it straight from the home screen rather than opening an app first.

It is expected that the top streaming services will be available at launch, so expect Netflix and Hulu Plus to be integrated with Android TV from the launch. Google is also said to be in discussions with several hardware manufacturers such as Sony, LG and Vizio about releasing Android TV devices in the coming month.

The service which will replace the Google TV platform is also expected to heavily concentrate on armchair gaming with a number of android apps as well as dedicated games being made available.