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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Google is gearing up to release a new Android TV set-top media box that utilizes a simple card interface with native apps and games, voice search, and a proactive recommendation system, according to new documents obtained by The Verge.

The documents note that while Android powers the box's experience, the interface offers a series of "cards" representing different channel options, including movies, shows, apps, and games. Users will be able to scroll through the interface with a four-way directional pad that contains Enter, Home, and Back buttons, with the set-top box reportedly featuring optional game controllers.

"Access to content should be simple and magical," reads one Google document, which adds that it should never take more than three clicks or gestures to go from the homescreen to enjoying a new piece of content. Even search appears to be secondary to intuitively understanding what you want and delivering it as soon as possible, though search will be still be one of Android TV's primary tools. In addition to universal search, pressing the Search button on the controller will let you search from within individual apps as well.
Moreover, Android TV is said to contain support for voice input, notifications, and search, with the set-top box also being able to recommend content based on a user's interests and resume content viewed elsewhere the moment Android TV is turned on. Google is reportedly asking select developers to create games and apps for its new set-top box with optimized interfaces for the TV, as apps for Vevo, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora are expected to ship with the device. The company will also work in its own apps including Play Movies, YouTube, and Hangouts.

"Android TV is Android, optimized for the living room consumption experience on a TV screen," writes the company, but the focus is on simplicity for now. Google is stripping away unneeded features like telephony, cameras, touchscreen support and near-field communication to keep developers focused, and handing them ready-made interfaces where they can hopefully just plug in shows, games, photos, music, and films.
Google is also expected to keep its popular Chromecast HDMI streaming accessory with the release of Google TV, with The Verge noting that developers will be required to build two different interfaces for the two different devices.

It is not known specifically when the device will launch, but it is clear that Google's Android TV will enter a growing market of set-top boxes -- just this past week, Amazon launched its own Fire TV media streaming box with voice search, game support, and more, to compete with other devices like the Apple TV and Roku.

The move comes as Apple is said to be preparing a new version of the Apple TV that will include game support and might possibly integrate with Comcast's network to enable a streaming TV service for users. Apple is expected to unveil its new Apple TV sometime in the near future, with some rumors suggesting a launch as early as April.

Article Link: Google Preparing 'Android TV' Set-Top Box with Native Apps, Simple Interface, Voice Search


macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
Google and Simple Interface don't go in the same sentence together.


macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
Bay Area
how many of these do we need that do essentially the same thing? Is the market for them really that profitable that every tech company out there sees the value in competing in this space?


macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
It's like, make a box that can play all my console games, and come out with a good version of youtube so I can get rid of all these consoles and disks, and stop having to youtube "how to do ________ on youtube." and fix my multimedia life already... What the hell is taking so long really? nobody cares about cable partnerships, the stuff on tv sucks anyways just release an update thats meaningful for once please. It's about time to stop selling the same stuff over and over. /rant

My Name is URL

Nov 18, 2013
I don't care what it looks like. The key thing as always with these tv devices is content. It needs more if it's gonna take on the TV.


macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
I'm confused: Is this an evolution of the existing Google TV platform, or have they given up on that?
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macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
how many of these do we need that do essentially the same thing? Is the market for them really that profitable that every tech company out there sees the value in competing in this space?

Tech companies don't know what to do, aren't sure what the "next big thing" is going to be so they're all copying each other on what they think it could be.

I hope whatever Apple is working on has a differentiator on the content side and it's not just the current ATV with a redesign and AppStore. Yes the latter is needed but I'd like to be wowed, not 'Apple's catching up with what everyone else is doing'.


macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2002
I mistook this for old news about Amazon

This is a mistake for Google. They should instead be supporting Amazon. Instead, they're fragmenting the Android based marketplace and pissing off their partners. Further, it doesn't sound like their device will be any better or have any real product differentiation from the Fire TV, unless they artificially create such differentiation by withholding services on Amazon's device.


macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2013
1) Heyy, Macrumors! It is MACrumors, it's kind of sad to see Google products, companies bought by Apple in front page while Apple Rumors are at secondary blogs.
2) Google is now Neo Samsung, I mean they are not just copying Apple they copy Microsoft too. Android Wear is just what iWatch rumors says, Android TV is a copy of both Xbox One UI and Apple TV UI, Chrome OS is copy of both Windows 7, Windows 8 and OS X.
3) People still use Google products after those privacy problems?


macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2003
So. Cal.
I don't care for any of the UI's. Not AppleTV, XBOX Live, Roku, GooglePlay or Amazon. They are all really crummy.
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