Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) may introduce an Android TV platform at its upcoming developer's conference in late June, a report says, sparking speculation around the industry about the search engine giant's market strategy amid failed earlier product attempts and internal rivalries.
According to Gigaom, Google is in talks with various online media service providers--"the usual suspects," such as Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu, as well as gaming-focused companies--about putting their apps on the Android TV platform. It's also talking to hardware makers--smart TV manufacturers, etc.--about integrating the platform into their products.
The tech blog says the Android TV platform will be introduced at the Google I/O developer's conference June 25-26.
Android's differentiating factor is said to be a technology called Pano, which surfaces content elements--movies, TV shows, games--from various media apps right on the home screen in card-like avatars. That means a card for a Netflix show could appear on the home screen, even though the Netflix app isn't open.
Gigaom writer Janko Roettgers asks some pretty good questions--as in, how does Google go from the largely failed gambit of Google TV in 2010, which was an attempt to "marry pay TV services with apps" to last summer's launch of Chromecast streaming stick to Android TV?
It's part strategy: Android TV will address a portion of the market that's looking for a more robust platform than the inexpensive but somewhat limited Chromecast, Google believes.
But there's an internal Google rivalry at work here too, Gigaom notes, with Google TV's development team splintering off from and ultimately falling out with the Android development unit, before merging its efforts with Google's Chrome team and giving birth to Chromecast.
Conversely, Android TV is the Android team's baby, gestated in response perhaps to what its members believed--from the early stages--to be wrong with Google TV.
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