Google takes another swing at your living room with Android TV

Google does entertainment, again

Android TV

Android TV is coming to take another go at your living room, whether you want it to or not.

Google's David Burke outlined the platform during Google IO, saying Google wants to treat TV the same as phones and tablets. To that end, Google is releasing one Android SDK for all its form factors.

Android TV is essentially a version of Android tailored for the rectangular screen in your living room. It provides access to TV shows, movies, streaming services, apps and games. Netflix, Google Play and YouTube are unsurprisingly accessible.

Like many smart TV solutions, Android TV comes up with recommendations based on your behavior.

What else can Android TV do?

Voice search is naturally supported by the platform. Saying, "The Hobbit," "Brad Pitt movies," or other types of cues will pull up recommendations based on these keywords.

Burke demonstrated Android TV onstage, controlling a breezy, "lean-back" UI with his voice via his phone. Google Cast comes built-in and lets users watch a movie or other content from their phone or tablet on an Android TV. Android Wear wearables can control Android TV.

Gaming is also a focus of Android TV; users can tap into Google Play games and engage in multiplayer gams with others.

The Android TV section of the Google Play Store will launch in the fall. Sony, Sharp and TPVision will all make their upcoming lineups of TVs Android TV capable.

It already seems more refined than the failed Google TV venture but we'll see if consumers gravitate toward this fresh yet somewhat uninspired second foray into the living room.

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