Google TV has reportedly got smart home and fitness features

An image of Google TV on a TV show

Your Google TV streaming device may soon become a smart home hub and a Fitness + rival.
Picture: Google

It’s no secret that Google has been fighting for a place in your living room for years. Google TV has undergone a number of branding changes since it was first launched in 2010, but it’s still managed to stay one of the best streaming platforms. And it does not stop there: Google has aimed to aim beyond just casting your favorite TV series and providing recommendations for what to watch.

In a chat with Protocol, Google TV’s Rob Caruso, ddirector of produkt management, indicated that the company is focused on making Google TV devices like Chromecasts more skilled this year, starts with smart home and fitness integrations. This would definitely make Google TV more Apple-like – the latter company’s Apple TV set-top box is more expensive than its competitors, but acts as a hub for HomeKit compatible devices and also integrates with the Apple Watch for Fitness + streaming workouts.

We already knew that Android TV would not be left behind mark to Google TV, and Caruso confirmed that Google will continue to support the platform, which still has power a majority of the active streaming devices are still in use.

“Android TV is still out there and it’s still being implemented, and it’s obviously still supported,” Caruso told the Protocol.

This is good news for owners of older devices, though Android – which Google TV continues to be based on – is not exactly known for its streamlined software updates.

Google also wants to work more closely with content providers to make its universal TV search your one-stop-shop for streaming. It is a strategy that is as old as time, taken directly from the company’s search engine book. But to achieve its goals, more third parties are needed to enter the fold. Netflix, for example, is one of the major streaming networks that does not let you add movies and TV shows to yours watch list. As a Google TV user, I rely on that feature to keep track of what I’m interested in, and it’s the added benefit of receiving a notification when it’s available.

“I hope we will see some welcome improvements and innovations in the coming months with not only Netflix, but with many partners,” said Caruso, who actually arrived at Google in August last year after a stay at Netflix.

With Google’s investment in Fitbthat, it’s no surprise to see Google looking for a fitness integration Google TV. Caruso told Protocol it is a “large area of ‚Äč‚Äčexploration.” It will be interesting to see if Google takes advantage of Fitbits on-demand training hours (available in the Fitbit app with a premium subscription), or introduces a new Peloton or Fitness + competitor.

The smart home may be the last big piece of Google TV’s puzzle. It makes sense Fabric, the smart home standard that promises to unite them all, in the horizon. Google explores better integration with smart devices, including Android phones. It is unclear whether this will go beyond the extended Fixed Pair function Google announced last week, allowing Android smartphones to pair devices for the network – a bit like a smart hub. This is not unlike Samsung’s strategy revealed with its SmartThings platform.

Google TV user the numbers have been rising – the platform has at the moment 110 million monthly active devices and hardware partners that TCL allegedly sells 10 million Google TVs a year.

The question is whether Google can offer a compelling use of its devices beyond simple TV watching. Or maybe it turns out that the only thing it needs to keep users up to date is to be the best damn search engine for couch potatoes. For now, there’There is no timeline for when Google will launch new Google TV features, though Caruso hinted “at some point later this year.”


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