Google made Google TV official this morning, essentially a reimagining of multiple services and platforms that have become established in the Google ecosystem over the years. Yes, Google TV is launching first with the new Chromecast, but Google TV is so much more than that.
For starters, Google TV is not limited to just Chromecast, as Google says it will become available to televisions from Sony and other Android TV OS partners starting in 2021. Furthermore, a new Google TV app is completely replacing the Google Play Movies & TV app, with that change happening this week. Once updated, that Play Movies & TV app will be called the Google TV app, bringing mostly the same experience to your phone as it is on the new Chromecast.
As for features, there are plenty of new ones. The whole UX is based on discovering titles and having quick access to your favorite things. For example, when a title is shown, it will also display which service that title is being streamed from in the lower right hand corner of the thumbnail. The more services you link to your device (aka the more services you subscribe to), the more your library will grow. On mobile devices, the experience is strictly about streaming content. On devices such as smart TVs and the new Chromecast, apps are allowed with a dedicated section for those available in top menu.
Naturally, Google Assistant and Google Search are deeply integrated into Google TV. Using your voice, you can search for and discover any title you might be looking for. Additionally, Google Search will recommend trending titles based on what people around the world are actually looking for, meaning recommendations are relevant with the current Hollywood happenings.
Like we mentioned, the Google TV app is rolling out right now to replace the Google Movies & TV app. If you want the full-blown Google TV experience, you’ll need the new Chromecast with Google TV device. In 2021, you’ll see Google TV come to additional hardware.