Farewell, Google TV? According to a report, the search giant is officially abandoning the Google TV brand.
It's important that we clarify that it's just the brand designation that's going away. Google-based television services will indeed continue onward; they just won't be called Google TV anymore. According to GigaOm, Google hasn't officially confirmed anything, but unnamed partners are saying that Google will now rebrand its efforts as "Android TV."
Meanwhile, a number of partners simply aren't using the "Google TV" moniker anymore, preferring instead to describe their various televisions as being able to access "the latest Google services" for televisions. A number of Google's own developers aren't even using the Google TV branding. Take, for example, a recent "Android TV Developer Day" event scheduled in Seoul, or the various Google employees who have now started to refer to themselves as being affiliated with "Android TV" instead of Google TV across various social media sites.
Google TV first hit the market in Oct. 2010 via the Logitech Revue. Since then, it's been a bit of a struggle to keep the iteration of Android that powers Google TV up to date compared to the iterations of the OS found on the world's various mobile and tablet devices.
The company announced in May that Android 4.2.2 would come Google TV within a few months; LG seems to be the first major manufacturer taking Google up on its offer, with an update likely scheduled to arrive later in October. Other manufactures, however, will be updating their devices later.
However, once manufacturers push into the new Android territory, it will presumably be easier for them to update to successive iterations of Android – like KitKat (4.4) — going forward. That does depend on manufacturer timelines, although Google is allegedly relaxing its requirements for those looking to use Google TV in their devices. According to GigaOm, Google initially required those making use of Google TV to include a QWERTY keyboard with their devices, in addition to meeting various hardware requirements.
"The next generation of Android TV devices running Google services could possibly be a lot more customized, with manufacturers picking and choosing from a range of services and apps
," the blog said.
For now, Google has seen success with its $35 Chromecast dongle, which allows users to "cast" Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Hulu Plus from a PC or mobile device to the TV.