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.
When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.
Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.
Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate.
I'm sorry, Logitech Revue fans: at this point it's impossible to deny that Google TV is irrelevant. That being the case, the folks at GTV Hacker, who have provided us with many a tool and exploit for Google-branded set-top boxes and other hardware, have decided to say goodbye to their old and somewhat targeted moniker. GTV Hacker is now Exploitee.rs... because really good URLs are basically hard to find. (It's a play on "exploiters.")
The official blog post announcing the change points out that the team has released exploits for over 40 devices in four years, only 1/3rd of which have actually been for Google TV.
Okay, so Google TV didn't work out exactly as Google probably hoped it would. While not technically dead, Google TV is at least on life support while Google pushes the $35 Chromecast dongle. If you still want to give Google TV a shot, Groupon is offering an Asus Cube for less (after rebate) than the cost of a Chromecast.
Last month YouTube for Google TV vanished from the Play Store like a vampire slain by Lincoln himself, quietly fading from public view, seen only by those who had previously downloaded it and already knew of its existence. But like the immortal being that it is, YouTube has risen back from the dead. Not only that, it's stronger, having now received a relatively minor update to version 1.7.5.