Coming this fall is Google’s latest effort at competing with Apple TV, Roku, and video game consoles: “Android TV.” Unlike previous efforts Google TV and Chromecast, Android TV will be an operating system rather than a specific set-top box brand name. Smart TV makers will be able to embed it into their sets, while third-party set-top box makers (Asus, etc.) can use the operating system.
Similar to Android and Roku/Apple TV, it’ll come with an easy-to-use interface with support for Chromecast. It’ll also come with its own app store, complete with using the same programming tools as Android-proper.
Google TV, of course, was a flop for Google. One reason might have been stuff like this hideous Sony remote control, something only someone completely clueless would find “usable.” (Sony apparently had never heard of cell phones with slide-out keyboards, which would’ve been a vastly more logical design choice…) Chromecast, meanwhile, has been a success, thanks to being easy to use (by actual humans) and cheap (at $35).
I wonder how successful Android TV will be going up against Apple TV, Roku, video game consoles, and existing smart TVs…not to mention Google’s own Chromecast.
WebOS. The mobile OS that I and everyone else had long left for dead, including HP after they finally killed it off. Even opening WebOS up as open source didn’t help, as even that community seems to have mostly moved on. But now, it looks like somebody actually wants to find a use for the mobile-OS-that-could(n’t): LG’s bought the rights to WebOS from HP.
LG plans on using WebOS to produce its line of “smart TVs” (TVs with app/Internet functionality built-in). It still plans on keeping it open-source, however. There doesn’t seem to be any indication of whether the Palm name itself is also now owned by LG.
It’s nice to see that somebody’s found a use for WebOS, especially long after it flopped on smartphones and tablets. I’m not too sold on the idea of a smart TV, myself; for me, a TV should be just that, with such online/app functionality in an external box (like the Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, etc.) that one can swap out (or repair) without also losing the TV. I’d also be concerned about software updates/maintenance. I suppose it’s for similar reasons I never warmed in the 1990s and 2000s to CRT TVs with built-in VCRs/DVD players.