It’s hard to believe, but it’s been just shy of five years since Google first unveiled Google TV at Google I/O in 2010. There were a lot of hopes for the platform that launched with partnerships with Sony, Logitech, and Dish, but few of those hopes ever panned out. It just didn’t catch on.
Now, the company is officially putting Google TV out to pasture. In the summer, Google unveiled Android TV, and at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Google’s partners are showing off their new TVs that support it. These are due out in the spring.
On the Google TV Developers Google+ account, Google discusses the transition, informing developers that their existing Google TV apps will continue to work, but while some of them will be updated to Android TV, the majority of them won’t support it. Here’s the message:
With the launch Android 5.0, Lollipop, Android TV is now fully launched, and we’re working closely with OEMs to release Android TV devices going forward. By extending Android to the TV form factor, living room developers get the benefits, features and the same APIs available for Android phone and tablet development. Going forward, we will focus our living room efforts on growing the Android TV and Google Cast ecosystem.
What does this mean for Google TV? Existing Google TV devices and all of the features of these devices will continue to work, and so will the apps you’ve developed for the Google TV platform. A small subset of Google TV devices will be updated to Android TV, but most Google TV devices won’t support the new platform. We expect to see an exciting lineup of Android TV devices in the coming year, including TVs from Sony, Sharp, and Philips, as well as other set-top and over-the-top boxes.
Thank you for being passionate developers creating great content and apps for the living room. With this shift, we encourage you to transition your living room development efforts to Android TV apps and Cast-enabled apps. While the Google TV libraries will no longer be available, 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. Learn more at developer.android.com/tv.
It’s no surprise that Google TV is on the way out. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, and even beyond Android TV, it’s clear that Google has a much bigger hit with the Chromecast. Google is smart to build on the Cast ecosystem, and Android TV also gives users and developers a more familiar ecosystem they can work with.
If you search for Google TV on Google, it’s almost as if it never existed, as you are greeted with an Android TV search result and Chromecast shopping results. The latest post on the Google TV blog is about the now defunct Redbox Instant becoming available.
Rest in peace, Google TV.