Google kills off Google TV, feeds it to Android TV

Some Google TV gear will get upgraded to Android TV, most won’t.

Google is dropping its Google TV brand, the company announced Tuesday, and will focus its living-room entertainment efforts instead on Android TV and Google Cast.

In a Google Plus post to the Google TV Developers account, the company said that the Google TV libraries would no longer be available, although existing Google TV devices will continue to work normally.

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“We’ve made it really easy to transition apps to Android TV using familiar Android development tools, as well as our new Leanback support libraries,” the post read, noting also that an unspecified but “small subset of Google TV devices” would receive updates transforming them into Android TV gadgets.

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Google’s move to place its home-entertainment offerings under the Android umbrella was generally seen as an inevitable one, given the emphasis on more extensive APIs and support for devices beyond the usual smartphones and tablets seen in the release Android 5.0. An own-brand set-top box called the Nexus Player was even included in the official announcement for Lollipop, billed as the first Android TV device.

At almost the same time, Google’s Android division announced that it had signed up a bevy of high-profile hardware partners, including Sony, Sharp, Intel, Qualcomm, Razer and Nvidia, to produce Android TV gear. Many of those new partners are in Las Vegas even now, at CES, and a new wave of Android TV devices may well be on the way.

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