Google may have released its AirPlay-like Chromecast dongle yesterday, but that doesn't mean that its fledgling Google TV platform is dead yet. The team behind the streaming TV platform says that "we believe there is ample room for both products to exist and succeed," and employee Warren Rehman says that many existing Google TV devices will be updated to support Google Cast — the AirPlay-like technology that underlies the Chromecast dongle.
Support to stream content from apps like YouTube and Netflix will come as part of the Android 4.2.2 update for Google TV, which was first announced earlier this year at the company's I/O developer conference. The update also includes the newest version of the Chrome web browser and it paves the way for quicker upgrades in the future. First-generation Google TV devices like the Logitech Revue and Sony's first products to use the platform will not get the update, however, as they are based on Intel chips. Products like the Vizio Co-Star and Asus Cube, as well as some newer LG and Sony TV sets will get the update sometime later this year.
"Google TV is moving forward in a major way."
Chrome and Android boss Sundar Pichai told CNET yesterday that "Google TV is moving forward in a major way" and "You'll see more partners announced at CES." Nevertheless, even with Google Cast support and a long-overdue update to Jelly Bean, there's good reason why Google TV appears to be on its last legs. The service has failed to catch on in any major way (despite support from several manufacturers), and with the $35 Chromecast dongle and TVs with built-in Google Cast support on the horizon it appears there will be fewer opportunities to get Google TV into customers' living rooms. Additionally, Google is rumored to be working on yet another TV product, a live, subscription-based internet television service meant to replace traditional cable. While Google Cast support will make Google TV a more complete product — particularly in comparison to the AirPlay-equipped Apple TV — it looks like the struggling platform is getting squeezed out.