Google preps Android TV launch with Nexus
| 16 October 2014
Despite its rather chequered history in TV, Google has launched the Nexus Player, its latest foray with Android into the market, due to hit stores on 3 November.
The $99 set-top box (STB) will have all the functions of Google's Chromecast, and will offer access to Android apps. Unlike the Chromecast dongle, it comes with a remote that can also process voice input, and a game controller will be sold as a $39 add-on.
Based on the Android Lollipop OS, there are 5,000 additional developer hooks, and a "material design" user interface to provide consistency across form factors as diverse as cars, TVs and watches.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of Android engineering, told the BBC that the developer additions will be crucial to success with Android TV. We should remember after all that Google TV has been an ongoing failed experiment for the company.
"On Google TV you could get a lot of apps, but a lot of the versions were just big tablet versions on a 50" screen that just didn't feel right," Lockheimer said. "[Now] we're much more opinionated about what an app should look like on a TV set, so we've been working very closely with app developers in the TV and content space over the past months on optimising their applications. You'll see a much more focused set of applications that are higher quality."
The STB is built by Asus and will run on Intel silicon.