Mad Google Is About To Mess Up Chromecast With An Apple TV Clone

Apr 8 2014, 6:44am CDT | by

Mad Google Is About To Mess Up Chromecast With An Apple TV Clone
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Google Chromecast

-Do you have Android TV?
-You mean Google TV?
-No, Android TV
-Chromecast?
-No Android TV!
-Apple TV?/>/>/>/>/>

Welcome to the mess Google is about to create. Having seemingly found the future of television leaks to The Verge suggest Google is about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by clubbing it over the head with a relic from the past. Worse still it is something Google has already tried and it failed abysmally.

If the leaks are to be believed this abomination will be called ‘Android TV’. It is a set top box powered by Android that comes with a remote control, plugs into your TV and provides access to Google services like YouTube, Play Music, Play Movies and Search as well as inviting developers to create apps for its ‘simple and intuitive’ user interface.

Under no circumstances should Android TV be confused with ‘Google TV’, the company’s previous failed set top box. Google TV was powered by Android, came with a remote control, plugged into your TV, provided access to Google services and Search and invited developers to create apps for its simple and intuitive user interface. Nor should Android TV be confused with existing set top boxes like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, WD TV, Popcorn Hour TV and others.

Sarcasm aside, under normal circumstances Google’s ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ approach would be admirable or at the very least show persistence. The thing is these are not normal circumstances.

The company had moved on from the Google TV debacle and come up with Chromecast. For those not in the know, Chromecast is a $35 HDMI dongle which plugs into your TV and removes the need for both a set top box and yet another remote control for your coffee table. With Chromecast whatever you are watching or listening to on your phone or tablet can be sent to your TV and then controlled by your phone or tablet. Leave the house and the content picks up on your device where you left off.

No new apps need to be coded for Chromecast because support can be added into the lorry load of Android media apps already available. You don’t even need an Android device since Chromecast is compatible with iPhones and iPads and Windows support is said to be in the pipeline.

“We are in the millions now, and it’s growing very actively,” said Sundar Pichai, Google SVP of Android and Chrome, when addressing Chromecast sales in early March. Chromecast was a US-only product at the time, but has now launched internationally. Neflix, Hulu, HBO, Pandora, Rdio, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Plex and VEVO head a rush of popular apps which have added Chromecast compatibility. Even rivals seem convinced by the concept and set top box veteran Roku released its knock-off ‘Streaming Stick’ (below) within a few months of Chromecast’s US release.

And now there is Android TV. Here to repeat the failed Google TV model, split the time and resources of developers committed to Chromecast, confuse consumers and create negative headlines for a product Google was getting right. A typical example is Atlanta Black Star’s Is Google Ditching Chromecast For Android TV? Meanwhile publications run ‘versus’ pieces discussing which Google product you should buy.

Self-sabotage is the most idiotic kind of sabotage and, given Chromecast’s enormous first mover advantage, rivals must think all their Christmases have come at once.

Of course there is a counterpoint to all this: Amazon. Held up as a poster boy for intelligent product expansion, Amazon just announced Fire TV which not only mimics Android TV and the failed Google TV, but is also based on Android. Given Amazon is famous for building products based on the wants and desires expressed by its millions of customers it is reasonable to suggest Google TV simply came too early and both Amazon and Google are getting back in the water at the right time.

/>/>

But no. As an online retailer Amazon is a very different animal to Google. Like its Fire tablets, the Fire TV is simply a delivery mechanism for purchasing Amazon content. It has partnered with Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and others but ultimately it is about Amazon’s wares being front and centre. Secondly whereas Google can drive Chromecast support through the core of Android, Amazon can only bolt it onto the forked version it ships with Fire products. Fire TV is a set top box because it was the next best option, Amazon can’t copy Chromecast well.

Neither could rivals. The major TV makers – Sony, LG and Samsung – are beholden to Android through phone and tablet contracts while Microsoft plays catch up from a long way back. Meanwhile Apple doesn’t usually let one product line cannibalise another, so while morphing Apple TV into a cheap AirPlay dongle to combat Chromecast is possible (and even sensible) losing a $99 product for one $50 or less when users are trapped within its ecosystem isn’t usually its style.

Yes all the pieces looked to be in place for Chromecast’s long term victory. But should Google go ahead with Android TV it will split developers, confuse customers and both it and Chromecast will fail. Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. By this logic Android TV suggests Google is truly mad.

More on Forbes

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands-On Review: Evolution Not Revolution Gives Hope To Rivals

HTC One (M8) Hands-on Review: First Impressions Suggest Stiff Competition For The Samsung Galaxy S5

Nexus 5: After Three Months Of Use, It’s The Best All-Around Android Phone

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Say cheese if you want a mouth-watering pizza
London, Aug 22 (IANS) How sumptuous you find a pizza has a lot to do with how yummy the cheese looks.
 
 
NASA plans to send rats to space for longer duration
New York, Aug 22 (IANS) NASA is planning to send rats to space for longer duration.
 
 
Feeling good at work may lead to negative outcomes
London, Aug 22 (IANS) Contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, while feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes, says research.
 
 
EU to launch Galileo satellites
Brussels, Aug 22 (IANS) The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that its Galileo satellites are scheduled to be launched Friday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Two Indians to feature at Tatarstan ethnic festival
Moscow, Aug 22 (IANS) Two Indian artists will feature at the sixth edition of Tatarstan's Krutushka ethnic festival that began in the village of the same name and will showcase the culture of different parts of Russia...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insulin may treat acute pancreatitis
London, Aug 22 (IANS) Insulin, which is normally released from the beta cells of the pancreas, can protect the cells of the pancreas from acute pancreatitis - a disease for which there is currently no treatment, says a...
Read more on Business Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price closes 49 cents lower
Vienna, Aug 22 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stood at $99.03 a barrel Thursday, compared to $99.52 Wednesday, according to the OPEC Secretariat. The...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Say cheese if you want a mouth-watering pizza
London, Aug 22 (IANS) How sumptuous you find a pizza has a lot to do with how yummy the cheese looks. Now, a study reveals that the elasticity, moisture, water activity and transition temperature all influence the...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
NASA plans to send rats to space for longer duration
New York, Aug 22 (IANS) NASA is planning to send rats to space for longer duration. Rats have flown to space before but the new "rat-stronauts" will stay between 30 and 90 days, depending on the how soon they can get...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Tajikistan to play football friendly against Belarus
Dushanbe, Aug 22 (IANS) Tajikistan will play friendly against Belarus at Borisov Arena Sep 4, the Football Federation of Tajikistan (FFT) said Friday. According to FFT, Georgi Kondratiev, the coach of Belarusian team...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Decoded: How hummingbirds detect sweetness
New York, Aug 22 (IANS) Hummingbirds are highly specialised nectar feeders and you cannot even fool them by sugar substitute that sweetens most diet cola. Now, scientists have discovered how hummingbirds' ability to...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Soon, laser device to measure blood sugar levels
Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) Diabetics may soon monitor their blood glucose levels without pricking themselves to draw blood as researchers have developed a way to use a laser to measure people's blood sugar. "With this...
Read more on Business Balla
 
David Yates in talks for Harry Potter spin-off
David Yates is in talks to direct 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'. The 50-year-old filmmaker - who helmed four of the 'Harry Potter' movies, including the final two - is said to be Warner Bros. top choice to...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Jennifer Lawrence offered role in The Hateful Eight
Jennifer Lawrence could soon join the cast of Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight'. The actress is currently locked in discussions over an undisclosed role in the film, though it is possible that she will be handed...
Read more on Movie Balla