What are the differences between Google TV and Android TV?

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Pavel Yosifovich
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With the Chromecast released in 2020, Google introduced a major revamp of its Android-based TV software, who called Google TV.

Today, with all the news of Google TV on the table, we ask ourselves what differences does this platform have compared to the current Android TV? In this article, we look at the major changes that will meet those who move from one software to another.

Google TV is Google's new platform for televisions.

A new, more modern and intuitive interface

Google TV is not an operating system. Rather, it is a level of customization placed above the software on Android TVs, the actual operating system these devices are based on.

The fact of implementing a level of customization on Android TV allowed Google to change to some extent the user interface, introducing a radically different look to Android TV.

If we compare the interface of both platforms face to face, we find big differences in the way of viewing the contents. In Google TV, it's all about recommendations and the home screen is full of content that may interest us based on what we liked.

In this way, we see a page called «For you», in which films, series or documentaries are shown based on our interests, extracted from the streaming services to which we subscribe.

On Android TV, however, the home screen interface highlights apps installed on the TV above the rest of the contents in a horizontal carousel, which on Google TV has been replaced to show le cards of search, "for you", movies, series, apps and the library, in this order.

The "watch list" arrives

Another Google TV novelty that wasn't featured on Android TV is la cosiddetta “watchlist” o “Watchlist”.

Thanks to this function it is possible add series or movies to this list and the added content will appear on any device with our associated Google account. This will simplify access from the Google TV home screen.

A more modern version of Android

La version of Android TV currently running on most TVs and Android TV Boxes it is based on edition 9.0 Android Pie. Instead, Google TV based on Android 10.

This does not mean that the Android TVs will live on an outdated version of Android for the rest of their life. The reality is that, sooner or later, televisions will be upgraded to Android TV version based on Android 10.

However, i TV manufacturers will also be able to choose whether to implement Google TV on their televisions and devices. They will be able to do this in the next few years by updating their current devices or by launching new products with Google TV.

And in starting in 2022, the idea is to make Google TV the default platform for any TV based on Android. It will be then when, probably, Android TV it will disappear as we know it today.

In reality, the differences between Google TV and Android TV they are not that many if we leave out the changes in terms of interface. After all, Google TV continues to use Android TV as a base and therefore the essential functions remained intact.

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