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Android KitKat May Focus Heavily on Connected TV

Korea's ETNews reports that with Android 4.4 "KitKat", Google may place an added emphasis on connected televisions, and not just smartphones. The news isn't surprising given recent reports that Google has actually canned Google TV, and will rely on Android 4.4 as its Smart TV platform when it's released later this month. Chromecast was merely the beginning.

According to unnamed sources, Google has improved the "TV" interface and user experience, compared to what was offered on Google TV. "The next OS has greatly improved its utilization in TV," one source stated. "In particular, there will be many changes in the interface between smart devices and the TV." That implies Google is looking to smooth the relationship between Smart TV and mobile devices.

The report goes on to confirm what we've already heard in the past, that Google TV participants, such as LG Electronics and Sony, must now refer to the platform as Android TV. Sources believe that Google is taking the "Android" route to distance itself from its previous attempt to provide a separate (and somewhat failed) TV-based OS, and use a more globally-accepted branding.

CNET reports that KitKat will be a minor release despite the new chocolaty, crispy name, with mostly tweaks made to the UI instead of a truckload of functionality. Yet because of all the chatter around this build and Android TV, the company may actually be focusing mostly on the TV interface, and how smartphones and tablets will interact with Android TVs. One OS instead of two just makes a lot of sense.

Recent screenshots indicate that a smartphone or tablet screen could be mirrored on a television screen by using Miracast. That said, mobile devices could have Android TV already packed into devices with the KitKat update installed: simply "throw" the screen onto an HDTV just like media can be "thrown" onto Chromecast.

Let's also not forget the set-top/console rumors: these will supposedly have Android KitKat as well. Something tells us that we're going to see some heavy TV-themed goods in the near future, and with KitKat stamped all over them.

  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    Give me a break...
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    Meh, Android hasn't introduced much of anything revolutionary recently beyond Google Now. Which is a shame because phone/device hardware is so much farther ahead of where the software and services are, it's disappointing.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    Break me off a piece of THAT...
    Reply
  • Spencer Castillo
    Android should really spend a lot of time polishing android and make it run faster. I like the customizablity of android and a lot of its features but it gets beaten by IOS when it comes to speed. Iphone 5s uses a dual core chip and yet still faster compared to quadcore and even octa-core android counterpart. Im using a galaxy S3 and I really love it but it crashes very often especially after the jelly bean update (samsung may take some of the blame for this).
    Reply
  • Spencer Castillo
    Android should really spend a lot of time polishing android and make it run faster. I like the customizablity of android and a lot of its features but it gets beaten by IOS when it comes to speed. Iphone 5s uses a dual core chip and yet still faster compared to quadcore and even octa-core android counterpart. Im using a galaxy S3 and I really love it but it crashes very often especially after the jelly bean update (samsung may take some of the blame for this).
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    11795001 said:
    Android should really spend a lot of time polishing android and make it run faster. I like the customizablity of android and a lot of its features but it gets beaten by IOS when it comes to speed. Iphone 5s uses a dual core chip and yet still faster compared to quadcore and even octa-core android counterpart. Im using a galaxy S3 and I really love it but it crashes very often especially after the jelly bean update (samsung may take some of the blame for this).
    Android runs plenty fast on my LG Optimus G, which is pushing a year old. Only issue I have are with one or two buggy 3rd party apps--everything else runs extremely smoothly, fast, and properly. The advantage of Android is also its downside--being allowed to run on virtually any hardware configuration means there's less they can do to control the performance on the software side. I thought Android was crap until I stopped using low-mid range devices (which could not run it very well) and started using higher-end hardware.
    Reply
  • tntom
    11795049 said:
    Android should really spend a lot of time polishing android and make it run faster. I like the customizablity of android and a lot of its features but it gets beaten by IOS when it comes to speed. Iphone 5s uses a dual core chip and yet still faster compared to quadcore and even octa-core android counterpart. Im using a galaxy S3 and I really love it but it crashes very often especially after the jelly bean update (samsung may take some of the blame for this).

    I know what you have experienced. And wish it was possible for people to just install Cyanogen Mod from the Play Store without having to root or void their warranty. I have CM10.2 Nightly and the speed and stability is unbelievable. There are a few nice things that Samsung does with TW but I don't miss them. The only 3rd party app that will crash my phone is EA's Scrabble which is a game I love but it is also the worst coded app I have ever seen bar none.
    Reply