Android TV was not fully neglected at the 2016 Google I/O. There are some additions to the lineup of devices that are Android TV enabled and there are a few overdue enhancements coming as well.
On the Android Blog Wednesday, Google announced several hardware additions. From the Android blog they indicate, “Sony and Sharp are adding to their Android TV product lines with Sony’s 2016 BRAVIA and Sharp’s Net Player. New devices are also on the way with RCA’s first Android TV, and Xiaomi’s sleek 4K set-top box. And in Europe, Android TV will be available from Beko, Grundig and Vestel starting in June.”
In addition to the hardware additions, they announced these exciting upgrades to the platform:
- Picture-in-Picture: lets users play video while browsing other content.
- Recording APIs: brings recording functionality to live TV.
High Dynamic Range: supports the next frontier in 4K UHD video.
These enhancements will allow developers to bring about some multitasking support for Android TV. The ability to perhaps play a game while watching a small box in the corner or allowing recording to live television or gameplay will help make the UI more mature.
Finally Google and the Cast team will be continuing to expand displays with Googlecast built in. These devices have native software that enables pairing on a more organic scale vs other devices which just work as a mirror. Magnavox, Philips, Polaroid, Toshiba, Westinghouse and others will be bringing this compatibility to consumers in the near future.
The platform appears to be far from sunset and the waters are getting warmer for more and more households to adopt the Chrome/Googlecast platform into their living room entertainment.