Google is reportedly working on Android TV, which would take over from the company’s failed Google TV initiative. The Verge has some documents in its possession that show how Google plans to take on Apple TV and Amazon’s just-announced Fire TV with a similar set top box product.
Unlike Google TV, which was envisioned as a platform that TV manufacturers will embrace like smartphone makers embraced Android, this time Google is looking at a set top box that mimics most of the features offered by Apple TV and Fire TV with a similar card interface. App developers would be encouraged to make apps for the interface and Google will also make its own Play Store content available on it apart from key Google experiences like YouTube, Search, Hangouts and others.
“Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,” the Google document reportedly reads. “It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.” It will be “cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast.”
The default remote accompanying Android TV would just have four-way directional pad apart from home, search and enter buttons. There would be an optional gaming controller accessory as well.
It is not clear at the moment what happens to the $35 Chromecast dongle Google released last year, which only recently started selling outside the US. Chromecast requires app developers and content creators to add the functionality to “cast” their content from one screen (laptop, tablet or smartphone) to the television.