The next version of Android, dubbed KitKat, will have a focus on television with increased compatibility alongside smartphones, reports ETnews. A revamped interface for televisions is said to be included in the new version of Android, bringing a "greatly improved" user interface and experience to OEMs and end consumers.
The first companies to adopt Android KitKat 4.4 within their televisions are said to be LG Electronics and Sony, who have jumped on with Google TV products in the past. ETnews' report gels well with what we've heard in the past. Google has reportedly ditched the plagued Google TV name and instead has opted for "Android TV". Motorola, who is owned by Google, is expected to be tapped for a set-top box running Android TV, as well.
Of course, Google hasn't confirmed its television plans, and we don't expect it to do so until Android 4.4 KitKat is announced later this month. Google has long struggled to capture the television market, unlike it did with smartphones, and has seen Google TV faltering against competition. "By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded," Google chairman Eric Schmidt said in late-2011. Obviously, that didn't happen.
We've seen plenty leaked for the user-interface of Android 4.4 KitKat on a smartphone, but nothing in the way of how it will look on a television set. Apps from Google Play will obviously be a focus, but it's unclear how much different Android TV will look from the already Android-based Google TV.
At the launch of Sony's Bravia TV last month, Sony refrained from mentioning the Google TV brand. It simply said its product “brings the full power of Google services to your TV”. The same went for LG when it showed off new devices at IBC in Amsterdam as having “the latest Google services for TV”. Services are probably the biggest focus in Android 4.4 KitKat optimised for the television.
Samsung, the top TV maker worldwide, has no plan to launch an Android OS-based TV set, according to ETnews. Samsung instead wants to opt for its own Tizen software sometime next year.