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

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.

android_tv_1

"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_2

"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.

Top Rated Comments

thekeyring Avatar
96 months ago
Oh ******* off Google.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeekLawyer Avatar
96 months ago
“Access to content should be simple and magical..."
Magical, you say? Where have we heard that before?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AustinIllini Avatar
96 months ago
Meanwhile, Apple's 5 inch iPhone will be "revolutionary"
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
96 months ago
Google and Simple Interface don't go in the same sentence together.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cyborg21 Avatar
96 months ago
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?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
96 months ago
At first glance, it looked like Google is copying Microsoft Windows 8.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

Apple Releases New macOS 12 Monterey Public Beta

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third public beta of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the new macOS Monterey software ahead of its public release. The third beta comes two weeks after Apple released the second macOS Monterey public beta. Public beta testers can download the macOS 12 Monterey update from the Software Update section of the System...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases New Public Betas of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15

Wednesday July 28, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of iOS and iPadOS 15 to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to download and test the new updates ahead of their fall release. The third public betas come two weeks after Apple released the second public betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS 15 updates over the air after...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...