Many, including us here at Android Police, have felt that Android TV is languishing as a platform, especially considering some of its best standalone hardware is coming up on four years old — admittedly, it has aged gracefully. According to a recent interview from TechHive, Google's commitment to the platform is only increasing, though, and both big changes and new hardware are planned.
The biggest takeaway from the interview is that more hardware reveals should be coming "in the next couple of weeks," presumably indicating they'll be announced at or around Google's upcoming I/O developer conference, with devices set to arrive in the fall.
According to Shalini Govil-Pai, senior director of product management for Android TV and the subject of TechHive's interview, Android TV now has 5,000 apps and games, a substantial rise from 3,000 at this time last year, primarily claimed to be a result of Google's commitment to the platform.
“Just to be very open, for the longest time, there was a question mark of, ‘How much is Google investing? The fact that Google is investing and is 100 percent committed to it, and we’re putting our best foot forward on it, I think that is the change that people are looking for.”
A redesign for the Play Store on Android TV is also coming, according to Govil-Pai. “It will be a lot more visual and a lot more cinematic, which is what you expect on TV." Allegedly, Google is also looking into changing how subscriptions via the platform work, moving closer to the Amazon/Roku/Apple model for content (i.e., providing the means to subscribe from directly inside Android TV, rather than separately through existing service apps or sites).
Android TV still has a long way to go, though. Roku TV was able to reach a similar number of channels back in 2017, and more of those were geared around actual content, rather than just apps, and plenty of big names are missing from the platform. Still, fans of Android TV should be glad that Google hasn't pulled an Inbox on it yet, and Amazon's Prime Video is coming.
For more details, click through to TechHive's full interview below.