Skip to Content

No set-top box, but Google still targets your living room with Android TV

Burke uses a phone to control the newly announced Google TV at the Google I/O developers conference in San FranciscoBurke uses a phone to control the newly announced Google TV at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco
Android TV software will run on smart TVs to stream movies, television and games. Elijah Nouvelage—Reuters

After using the start of its annual I/O developer conference to unveil new Android products for the car and the wrist, Google turned its attention to the living room.

Part of a string of new product announcements from Google on Wednesday, the company revealed Android TV software, which will run on smart TVs and stream movies, television and games. Users will be able to control the Android operating system and stream content using their smartphone, or they can use an Android Wear smart watch – one of the products Google announced earlier in the day.

Available this fall, Android TV also weaves in the search power of Google as well as voice recognition, meaning users will be able to ask questions out loud to their smartphone or wearable device in order to search for information or content they can stream to a smart TV, or through other devices.

This was one announcement that swerved from expectations leading up to the conference, as many preliminary reports suggested Google would be releasing a television set-top box to challenge competitors in that market such as Apple TV and Amazon’s new Fire TV. Other reports successfully predicted Google’s entry into the wearable devices market with the release of its Android Wear technology, as well as the search giant’s commitment to health and fitness tracking through its Google Fit platform.

The company said Wednesday that Google Fit will allow Android users to track their fitness goals using health sensors while also allowing various apps and devices to sync and share data with the platform. The product is a challenge to the similar health and fitness tracking software Apple announced at its own developer conference earlier this month, the Apple Health Kit and the Health app.