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Google pushes Android games into the living room with Android TV
Google pushes Android games into the living room with Android TV
June 25, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Google confirmed its long-rumored plans to bring Google Play to your biggest screen by announcing the Android TV operating system today during its annual I/O developer conference keynote.

As we expected, Android TV is a modified version of the Android operating system designed to run on television hardware, including smart TVs, set top boxes and microconsoles.

Android TV's interface is designed to be navigated on a large screen while you're sitting on your couch, and it will include enhanced support for things like voice control, HDMI input and Android's extant controller API while stripping out features like touchscreen support, telephony and camera support.

You can also use your Android phone and tablet as an Android TV controller. During Google's I/O keynote, Android engineering director Dave Burke played the Android version of NBA JAM on a television using a wired gamepad against a nearby opponent who was playing on an Android tablet.

Android TV also supports Google Cast media sharing, allowing people with compatible devices to push movies and music from their smartphone or tablet to their TV -- just like the Chromecast.

It's a clear move to extend Google's app ecosystem into the living room; the company even made a show of calling developers to build "living room" apps like video players and games. A specialized "Android TV" category of the Google Play store will open this fall, alongside the launch of the upcoming Android L update.

Developers shouldn't have too much trouble adapting their games to the device, as Google intends to release a single SDK that's applicable to all Android devices in the near future. For now, you can access the specialized ADT1 Android TV development kit from Google's developer website later today.

Going forward, Google claims that Razer and Asus are developing Android TV set top boxes, while all HD and 4K Smart TVs in Sony, Sharp and Phillips' 2015 lineup will run on Android TV.

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