You’ve probably seen or heard the term ‘Google TV’ more frequently in 2021, what is it? will it replace Android TV? is it a new OS?
Smart TVs from Sony, TCL, and a few others have started the switch from Android TV to Google TV. While it is simple why they are changing to the Google-branded platform, it is confusing the masses.
What is Google TV?
Google TV was first introduced to the masses with the new Chromecast, it is still Android TV, in fact, Google TV currently runs on top of Android TV 10. However, this is not just a new variation designed for Google’s own hardware; it will be the TV platform the company uses on its devices and makes available to partners for third-party devices as well.
How’s Google TV Different from Android TV?
In some ways, the move to Google TV is simply rebranding. Not to say there are no real changes though, Google TV brings updates to the look and feel of basic interface elements, like the homescreen, and improved communication between TVs, smartphones, and other devices.
Google says it is reworking the UI layer of Android TV to be more “user-friendly and easier to navigate”
Google TV also brings new artificial intelligence (A.I.) features that can recommend content based on your Google profile and how you use streaming services. The new tab-based menu arrangement also allows for new sections like the For You tab, more focus on live TV, a Watchlist section that holds your bookmarks from streaming apps, and better integration with YouTube TV.
Google Assistant also has native support to act as a voice search or voice command controller. Other Google TV features include;
- Support for a kids’ mode and parental controls
- Native support for compatible home smart devices (like viewing a live video feed from security cams)
- Support for slideshows from Google Photos
- Support for multiple user accounts
So, is Google TV replacing Android TV entirely?
Older Android TVs, mostly those running Android 9.0 or earlier will still use Android TV in more or less the same way they always have. Some more recent Android sets, from 2019 and 2020, however, may get upgraded to a slightly different version of Android, one designed to look and feel more like Google TV.
Keeping in mind that the underlying Android TV platform is just the same technology, Google TV is just an update to the OS. By 2022, all devices offering the platform will be using Google TV, and Android TV will be permanently in the past.
According to 9to5Google, Android TV as you know it today will be replaced by Google TV over the next two years.