Google clarified the once-vague Android TV platform by unveiling third-party TV sets at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. In a post at the official Android blog, vice president of engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer revealed that the companies Sony, Sharp, and TP Vision (who largely produces Philips-branded TVs) would launch Android TV-powered sets "this spring."
On those sets, Google promised access to live television, apps, games, and more from a single remote, along with voice search functionality, Cast options from mobile devices, and Lollipop's Material design aesthetic—in other words, what users already saw in last year's Nexus Player, only pre-baked into TVs. Ars Technica staffers attending this year's CES have already gone eye-to-eye with those sets, which range from standard 1080p displays to giant 4K stunners, but having already reviewed the Nexus Player last year, they admitted they "had nothing to say" about these new sets' interfaces in particular.
Still, those promised features sound a lot like what Google TV was supposed to do, right? Yeah, about that. Tuesday also saw Google essentially pull the plug on development of the company's older TV-focused platform. The Google TV Developers account at Google Plus announced that "a small subset" of Google TV hardware would receive a bump to Android TV, and while current Google TV sets and apps would continue to function, the platform's development libraries would "no longer be available" for continued development. (Unsurprisingly, that Google Plus post encouraged app developers to direct their future efforts toward apps for the Android TV platform.)