Android TV will finally make its debut at Google I/O


Google will several big announcements during its Google I/O keynote today — and one of them will almost certainly be about Android TV.

Sources familiar with the plans claim we’ll see “at least one” set-top box powered by the search giant’s latest entertainment platform during the event. In addition to playing movies and music, they’ll also allow users to play Android games through their TVs.

The boxes will resemble products from Android TV’s main competitors, such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, sources for The Wall Street Journal say. The Android TV platform will be available to third-party hardware manufacturers, but it’s unclear at this point who has joined forces with Google to make the first.

Details on the Android TV platforms itself are also scarce, but The Journal’s sources say we’ll be able to control it using our Android-powered smartphones. We’ve already seen leaked screenshots that show apps like Netflix, Pandora, VEVO, YouTube, and Hangouts will be supported.

We expect, however, that most Android apps and games will run on Android TV — and many will be optimized with new interfaces that better fit the big screen. Riptide GP2, a popular jet-ski racing game, has already been updated to support the platform, and it has a new split-screen gaming mode just for Android TV.

There’s little doubt that Android TV will feature at today’s event, then, and it certainly won’t be the only talking point. We also expect to see a preview of Google’s upcoming Android 5.0 update, as well as news on Android Wear and Google Glass.

You can tune into Google’s keynote on YouTube from 9 a.m. Pacific.