Google products undergoing multiple rounds of rebranding during their life cycle has become the norm — sparing not even the more popular ones. Android Wear shed the Android prefix back in 2018 to be simply called Wear OS, while the Home line picked up the Nest label more recently. Something similar is about to happen with Android TV, and we’re seeing yet another sign that a rebrand to Google TV is imminent.
These days, traditional TV is becoming less and less common. With the advent of streaming, people can choose what to watch when they want to watch it. YouTube TV launched back in 2017 with the promise to bring cable into the modern age. Over the years, the service has added alotoffeatures, but at what cost? Today, Google is announcing that eight new channels from ViacomCBS are live on YouTube TV, along with a price jump from $49.99 up to $64.99.
Ever since shadowy reports about Sabrina, Google's upcoming TV dongle, surfaced earlier this year, we've been waiting with bated breath to see what Google's new vision for living room entertainment is going to look like. A leaked firmware image gave us some possible specs, and a bunch of new details, including a video of the dongle and its remote, leaked a few weeks ago. Now with the release of the Android 11 preview for Android TV, we're getting yet another glimpse of Sabrina, helping to further clarify our expectations.
Our first good look at Google's upcoming Android TV dongle came courtesy of XDA Developers, and now they're back with more details that were dug up in a leaked firmware image. We knew "Sabrina" would be powered by an unknown Amlogic chipset, but now we know the exact model and most of its specs, as well as features it's likely to support.
Yesterday, our friends at XDA Developers snagged some renders and marketing images from a leaked video of Google's now long-anticipated Android TV dongle, which might get hardware codename "Sabrina." They've also confirmed that Sabrina will come with a dedicated remote, as was previously rumored. But better than that, they’ve just published a video that includes the new Android TV redesign in action.
You know what's great? Having lots of streaming content available on your TV. What's not so great is when your quest to stream content results in ransomware bricking your TV. One fellow on Twitter shared the story of an LG TV that caught some nasty malware, and now it's apparently useless. Perhaps technology has gone too far.
Back in May of this year we reported on the imminent expansion of Android TV apps promised by Google, including an app for HBO GO. The timeline for its release was originally "sometime this summer". Looking out my window at the sodden mess of wet, decaying leaves plastered to my driveway here in Seattle, I think it's safe to say they missed that deadline. Oh well, I guess late is better than never.
HBO Now subscribers have had access to an Android TV app since the beginning of the month, so it's nice to see the far more popular HBO GO app finally catch up.
Android TV is a thing these days, but Google TV is dead as a door nail. Taking this into account, Amazon has decided to stop supporting Instant Video streaming to Google TV devices. The service will stop working on September 14th, at which point any remaining users of Google TV will have an excuse to stop using it.