Each year’s CES marks the launch of several new devices and technologies, but the electronics expo’s 2015 edition rang the death knell for Google TV, the company’s smart TV platform that launched way back in 2010 and never quite took off. And that’s probably a good thing.
Google TV incorporated Android and Chrome into a 10-foot interface, compatible with a QWERTY physical remote, as the way to interact with apps, games and online video content on televisions.
While it sounded great on paper, the execution left a lot to be desired — laggy apps, poor customization options and a clunky overall experience marred Google TV’s reputation before it could really take off.
While Google says that existing Google TV devices and associated apps and features will continue to work, it’s all about moving on bigger and better things — namely, Android TV and Cast-enabled apps and devices.
Android TV was announced last year and Google showcased the new platform on the Nexus Player set-top streaming box. It also made a splash at this year’s CES, with Sony announcing that all 2015 Bravia TVs will feature Android TV.
Google is also teaming up with Sharp, Huawei, Razer and others to launch more Android TV devices in the future.
With this new take on smart TV software, Google promises to bring more and better video content as well as multiplayer gaming, to the living room. And unlike its previous attempt, the company is going for a more streamlined, content-focused experience, instead of trying to pack in too many things into one device (like a full-fledged browser).
We’ll have to wait and see how far Google can get in its quest to dominate in the TV space, and where it takes us as we follow along.