Android TV may have started as a small side project for Google, dwarfed in size by its own Chromecast devices, but it's quickly becoming a star in its own right. YouTube — a preinstalled app on every Android TV device — recently hit 100 million installs for its Android TV variant, giving us a good idea of the platform's growth.
It's been just over a year since YouTube for Android TV passed the 50 million mark, effectively doubling its user base. As charted last May, the app has been effectively doubling its momentum over time, leading us to speculate that it would only take 12 months to hit 100 million users if it kept up its pace. Needless to say, mission accomplished. It'll be interesting to see where Android TV goes from here, though it's easy to guess what's pushing its current growth.
The platform's biggest issue to date has been a lack of major hardware releases. It's built into a bunch of TVs from companies like Sony and Hisense, as well as Nvidia's Shield TV, which continues to draw attention from niche parts of the web despite its relatively high price. Thankfully, Google finally took up the task of making some killer low-cost hardware last fall, with the release of Chromecast with Google TV. Combining two platforms into one helped it to become one of the best streaming gadgets on the market today. While "Google TV" might sound like a different OS, it's just a skin running on top of Android TV.
The company isn't slowing down, either. Google has slowly brought its new UI to other non-Chromecast devices, so it does seem committed to keeping up development on the platform. It even has a new remote app coming to Android later this year. Meanwhile, other companies like Walmart are gearing up to release Android TV gadgets that are even more affordable than the Chromecast.
As for YouTube's development, it seems content to keep on trucking. It got a slight visual upgrade last fall, but otherwise, it's the same app for Android TV that its users have come to know and love (or hate, judging by the Play Store reviews).