At some point within the next couple of years, your Google TV may do a lot more than just show you content. According to a new report, Google is preparing to add Wear OS integration to boost fitness tracking, make smart home controls more robust, and finally add the audio pairing we’ve been waiting patiently for.
The report comes from Protocol, who says that Google representatives showed a presentation to partners behind closed doors last month that detailed their big Google TV and Android TV plans. Google wouldn’t comment on the report, but all of it sounds like the types of features you’d want built into a smart TV platform to further adoption.
The biggest bit of news might be the Wear OS integration. Google is apparently figuring out ways to enable interactive workouts within Google TV that pair to your Wear OS watch. That pairing would lead to real-time data showing on a screen, with metrics like heart rate and calories burned at the forefront. This is reportedly coming in 2023, at the earliest.
In the audio department, Google might finally enable pairing of Nest speakers with Google TV to create a home theater system. This was a long-rumored feature, mostly because Google kept mentioning it in marketing materials for their Chromecast with Google TV. The report says this could show up “later this year or early next year.”
As for smart home stuff, which might not show up until 2024 (!), Google has some sort of plan to allow users to get into smart home controls and cameras without interrupting the content they are viewing. That sure sounds like picture-in-picture type of stuff we already know is coming in Android 13, so either the rollout of Android 13 to Google TV is going to take a lot longer or something is twisted here. Either way, we desperately need better smart home integration in Google TV and Android TV. You often have the remote in your hand, so creating ways to better access all of the gadgets in your home from the big screen in front of you would be welcomed.
Finally, Protocol’s report also mentions that Google is pushing its partners to make better hardware to support all of these new ideas. Things like Bluetooth 5.0, Android 13, and at least 16GB of storage might be required and we’re all for it. Google should look a bit at itself there, though, since the Chromecast with Google TV only has 8GB storage and also happens to offer one of the slowest, jankiest smart TV experiences around, at least until it warms up.
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