updated 10:48 am EDT, Fri October 11, 2013
Android version upgrade in Google TV may accompany name change
Google is planning to phase out the Google TV brand and refocus on using Android as a smart TV platform, according to a report. The software platform will continue to exist and be used by smart TV and device manufacturers, but it will apparently be known as Android TV, and will also have a number of upgrades when it is released under its new title when compared to the earlier code.
The report from GigaOM uses an unnamed "consumer electronics manufacturer" that currently produces Google TV devices as its source. A spokesperson from Google refused to comment on the report, with the lack of denial suggesting that the story is true, but the company is not prepared to talk about it yet.
Recent launches of Google TV devices are brought up in the report as evidence for the changes with the claim that the recent Bravia Smart Stick launch by Sony uses the latest version of the software, but stopped short of calling it Google TV, instead stating it "brings the full power of Google services to your TV." Announcements by LG and STMicroelectronics are also referenced, with both companies mentioning the same "Google services for TV" line, as well as Android compliance. Original Google TV team members have apparently been spotted dropping the Google TV name when discussing work, while one developer event in Seoul was named the "Android TV Developer Day."
Android TV will also use a newer version of Android as its base rather than Android version 3.2 currently used, something it has previously announced. By shifting to Android 4.2.2, Google will in theory make it easier for developers to make applications that will run on the new platform, thanks to its closeness to versions of Android used on recent tablets.