Google has promised gaming on every screen without the pain of local processing through its Stadia platform. However, it'll take some time to saturate every possible screen — Chromecasts will be at the forefront when the service goes into trial from November while Pixel 3 and 3a phones as well as computers with access to Chrome are expected to join the device pool. But what if you have an Android TV? Well, you may have to wait a good long while to get into Stadia.
Those tea leaves are coming out of the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. Google usually takes the opportunity to promote its over-the-top services including YouTube and Android TV. However, one attendee has tipped off XDA-Developers to a presentation the company made during the event detailing Android TV's development path for the next two years, based on Android version updates.
For the life cycle of Android 10, Google will work with TV manufacturers on customizing Google Assistant functions to their products and services. It will also bring a new design for the Play Store — including new sections for subscriptions and content discovery — and pilot ads in the home screen and within the video stream.
From Android 11 R onwards — perhaps late summer 2020 — we should expect more OEM partners to utilize Google Assistant customizations and more Assistant languages and for the ads program to expand. New TVs are expected to come out with Google Lens and Google Camera to enhance on-screen content. It is also at this point that Stadia is expected to come to Android TV.
Android 12 S will apparently bring more of the same in terms of expanding Assistant and bringing new tech to the platform while also starting to hold the line — bringing some uniformity to specifications and cost of ownership — and to tighten the go-to-market timeframe.
It looks as though Google's about to tighten up on fragmentation as it implements high-processing features (well, at least for a television) on Android TV. Considering that the platform may be expected to bring Stadia's best performance to life — 4K HDR video at 60fps with Dolby 5.1 Surround sound — it'll take some time to get everyone on the same page.
Hopefully, that 2020-21 timeframe should give Google some room to be able to make Stadia a fit for Android TV.