During Google I/O 2014, the Internet giant introduced Android TV as the successor of Google TV and added new features into its Chromecast. Digitimes Research believes that Android TV did not resolve the difficulties that Google TV faces, but only resembles the giant's return to the TV business. Chromecast's new features are expected to add social applications onto the device, increasing users' attachment to the product and start benefiting Android-based handheld devices.
Android TV's main functions include voice search on video, video recommendation, OTT and games. Some of the functions are improvements from the defects of the first-generation Google TV, but most of them were already being adopted in the second-generation Google TV or some vendors' Smart TVs.
For example, voice search and the video recommendation are able to improve Google TV's drawbacks on the keyboard input usage experience, but the functions have already been integrated by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics into their smart TVs and are also being supported by the second-generation Google TV.
Digitimes Research believes the most important message Android TV has delivered is the TV's entry into the Android ecosystem. Google's statements: "Just giving television the same level of attention as phones and tablets" and "one Android SDK for all form-factors" imply that Android TV will help accelerate the creation of new apps, but a rich app database does not necessarily create killer applications and the issue is what Google will need to face when re-entering the TV market.
As for Chromecast's new features, they are mainly helping the device to become more suitable for social interactions. The new features include connections between a smartphone and Chromecast without needing the same Wi-Fi area; "Backdrop" for displaying smartphone photos on a TV and ability to mirror an Android device's display onto a TV.
With the mirroring function able to provide the sharing of any content from an Android-based smartphone, the feature is expected to significantly boost Chromecast's capabilities. Since the function only supports some specific Android smartphones, Chromecast's popularity is expected to start providing benefits to Android-based handheld devices, Digitimes Research analyzed.