Feb 09 AT 4:50 PM Taylor Wimberly 57 Comments

Android Hub, Google’s first home entertainment system

android-black-box

Today the Wall St. Journal reports that Google is working on a “home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home and would be marketed under the company’s own brand.” They don’t mention the name of the device, but a separate source tells us it is being called Android Hub.

The Journal also says that people briefed on the company’s plans think Google’s box may stream other digital media besides music and they expect it to be unveiled later this year. We would wager at Google IO from June 27-29.

Last year at Google IO, Android@Home was given a brief demonstration. Google said they had partnered with “several industry players” to build a home automation framework that could “work with any device, from any manufacturer.”

From what we have gathered, it sounds like this Android Hub product will be Google’s next-generation of Google TV, minus the actual “Google TV” branding. Google recently sent a request to the FCC to test some entertainment devices that contained WiFi and Bluetooth, and we think Android Hub is one of those.

Google TV failed pretty miserably, but we know that Google plans to revive it with new hardware powered by low-cost ARM processors. I think some consumers were actually confused by the Google TV name, so calling it Android Hub would make sense.

My speculation is that Android Hub will be a set top box, that is WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC enabled. Look for it to be sold at a mass market price around $99-149. The device will run the latest version of Android and have limited internal storage. Media will be streamed from Google’s services and personal media will be stored in Google’s upcoming cloud storage platform. It will have full access to the Android Market for apps, movies, music, and other goods.

Hopefully some more information will be dug up over the coming days. We will update this story when we have additional details to report.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • YMS123

    Android hub sounds more like a software name than a hardware name…

    • Dragonithe

      It sounds more like a sub-part of Android@Home

    • epps720

      Hopefully the name changes. Just hope this product is pretty seamless, I’ve seen others where you need a box in every room. Hate all the additional hardware.

      • Jeff Pan

        2-3 yrs down the line, your Android smartphone would be able to control pretty much every electronic device in your home. Your desktop, laptop,tablet, TV, Game console, Refrigerator, Microwave, your car and so on!

        Take that Apple!

        • SquirrelWithAGunAtTheMovieTheater

          I expect Apple to have an answer by then, maybe the rumored Apple TV will show up, which isn’t really a bad thing. Honest competition is always good since every consumer wins.

  • BiGMERF

    waiting for details ……………..

    • Cwalden21

      Same Here…

    • LukeT32

      What would NFC do on a set top box….. I’m not going to walk up to my TV if I need to change something. The remote was invented for a reason.

      • thekaz

        i would imagine information or video tailored to you as the viewer. if you are a sports fan, think scores, stats, highlights, etc related to your favorite team or fantasy team. if gameplay is part of it, it could read your player info.

        i think nfc chips generally are single purpose. I don’t think the idea behind how they work really lends itself to a remote control type of situation.

      • Owain

        If you want to pair your phone or tablet to your box you simple ‘tap’ the box… no entering pairing pins or codes and all the hassle that come with that.

        • http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JO7b1Ck47aQEDj18KITtDo-UqYBOLeP6nzuQmVQDO8o?feat=directlink Gomez

          Or walk by your HUB tap on it with your phone and automatically your Google tv remote pops up.

  • T1392

    Gotta check this out when more details arrive. Anything android has my attention.

  • scores87

    What happened with android@home? maybe this is the beginning of it?

    • Wunako

      looks like, my only thing is why not already have that as a combo with GoogleTv especially since its going to be marketed under the Google name

      • wallie

        Although Google is in the name I dont see Google TV as being marketed directly by Google. It’s marketed by sony and logitech and the new manufactures will even have a custom UI. Just like android phones nothing comes directly from Google. So this will be something new and different and awesome

  • spazby

    Bring it on google

  • cola

    Is that a rendering or Photoshopped image? I hope not, cause it looks freaking sweet. I want.

    • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

      I’d say yes photoshopped, because that is a Roku.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You like my lame Photoshop skills hah? I always think I suck, but I guess I’m getting better if I make a few people doubt.

  • cwjones4

    i’m getting really excited for google i/o this year. can’t wait to see what they have to show off!

  • Sturoid

    So by the sounds of it, this would be along similar lines to how Sonos works

  • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

    I thought GoogleTV was a big failure, how is this different?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Because it’s hard for any product to compete with the TV that is not actually a TV. Changing the name, adding home automation features, and offering it at a lower price will help it succeed.

  • KennyL

    I think they will more likely announce a partnership of sorts with TV makers. This is better off as baked in software for connected TV’s. Frankly the few boxes I have in my entertainment system, the better. I’d rather have everything already in the TV and not cluttering up the place with cords and cables.

  • Stang68

    “My speculation is that Android Hub will be a set top box, that is WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC enabled. Look for it to be sold at a mass market price around $99-149. The device will run the latest version of Android and have limited internal storage. Media will be streamed from Google’s services and personal media will be stored in Google’s upcoming cloud storage platform. It will have full access to the Android Market for apps, movies, music, and other goods.”

    This has me very excited :)

  • ablkida

    If they can somehow add PS3 and 360 quality games… and a movie streaming service better than netflix… I would get this for sure.

    • MB

      The trick is to partner with OnLive – and make sure that the OnLive app is pre-installed on them.

      OnLive does for games (for my family) what Netflix did for movies. Tons of games on demand with total ease.

  • greeny42

    Please power my home Google!

  • honourbound68

    I hope my broadband can handle this (optimum). Heck I get lag when I stream Netflix at 1080 especially when my other devices are using bandwidth.

    • yankeesusa

      That’s why cox is the way to go. I run the 360 xbox online game, using laptop and watching netflix on the WII and my speeds stay above 9mbps. It’s awesome.

  • Vance

    I’m guessing this will be a component of @home. Do you guys remember the name of the little cube devices they demoed at I/O last year?? Those were sweet and could also play a part in this development. Remember when he showed how using NFC you could tap a newly purchased CD to the unit and instantly the entire album including art, would be dumped into your Google Music cloud?? I nearly had an accident.

  • Dan Jones

    How is “Android Hub” less confusing than “Google TV”? “Google TV” describes exactly what it is (a box for your TV built by Google). How is “Android Hub” more descriptive than that?

  • Dil

    NOW IT MAKES ALL SENSE…..
    GOOGLE MOTOROLA DEAL PAYS OFF FOR SETTOPBOX…
    ONE DEVICE FOR WHOLE HOME…..FOR TV MOBILE FRIDGE AND EVEN WASHING MACHINE………
    NO PC REQUIRED ONLY WEARABLE GLASSES….
    ALSO GOOGLE PREPARING OWN PROCESSOR FOR THAT……….

    ANDROID HUB IS COMMING………..
    OH YEAH THIS IS THE NEAR FUTURE

  • alee

    I’d think that “Google” has much better brand recognition among the general public (as opposed to people who visit this site) than “Android”. On the other hand, most people who aren’t familiar with what Android is might not think of Google as anything other than a search engine.

    As for the choice of CPU, didn’t they just switch from Atom to ARM for Google TV devices? Now they’re going back to Atom?

    • alee

      Also, say “hub” to the average person in the street, and it’s most likely that the first thing they’ll think of is “cap”.

      • Anthony E.

        really? cap?

        Do people in your country also think sauce when they hear the word apple, or split for banana?

  • skugern

    If it lets me play music in multiple rooms with connected speakers from one device (via WiFi), then I’m sold.

    • domi

      Exactly my thoughts!

      And my curtains, heating, lights, security cam, ….

  • JaToMa

    I like the idea of this Android Hub.

    I don’t like the idea of having all my personal data in the cloud. Why should I stream something from the internet, that I already have somewhere at home on a harddrive?

  • Shawn Clark

    Sounds good, but need more info

  • AceoStar

    BOOM Shake Shake Shake da Room!

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    I’m down, especially if it’s below $150!!

  • http://None Javier Bastardo

    I’ve read somewhere else that it was going to be Google branded, not Android, but I guess Android has more sense. As for the device, I’m excited, but the details are almost near to none, so is to soon to say anything properly.

  • smeghead68

    Looks nice but how much hardware are you going to have to buy to make this work? If I don’t have a smart TV how do i watch movies on it?

  • jm9843

    Weird article.

    Whatever this device is will be part of the Android@Home project. It will compliment Google TV rather than replace it.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    $20 says they give these out at Google I/O this year.

  • Sreekanth

    You are wrong about Google TV. The first product that came out from Logitech was over priced at 299$ and it failed, true. Then they stopped the product and literally gave it away for 99$. I bought one. Logitech Revue is an awesome device at that cost. It is mostly sold out now. Now it’s about 130$. Many new Bluray players come with built in Google TV. Almost 50% of all new TV’s this year will have Google TV in built. Now, explain to me the failure.

    Please do remember that the new buzz is “Google before you tweet” and that is the new “Think before you speak”. In your case, “write”.

    • MB

      I like the Sony one better – I have that, because I didn’t already have a BluRay player, and it’s far less power hungry than a PS3 when just watching movies.

  • Sreekanth

    You are wrong about Google TV. The first product that came out from Logitech was over priced at 299$ and it failed, true. Then they stopped the product and literally gave it away for 99$. I bought one. Logitech Revue is an awesome device at that cost. It is mostly sold out now. Now it’s about 130$. Many new Bluray players come with built in Google TV. Almost 50% of all new TV’s this year will have Google TV in built. Now, explain to me the failure.

    Please do remember that the new buzz is “Google before you tweet” and that is the new “Think before you speak”. In your case, “write”.

    Posting again, to get notifications.

  • aranea

    I like the hardware idea! Something that whole Android ecosystem can interact seamlessly.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I really hope that this box will utilize android beam. To be able to watch a video on the go,or instantly share a song,internet radio station will definetly make this device the one to beat, since Apple and others don’t tie into the Android ecosystem. Utilize you unique assets Google!

  • Marx1684

    Android needs to make a gaming system that also does everything android devices & gaming systems do. That would be the only hub they ever needed. It would get the most out of the G-Drive & be great for Google TV. I don’t think it would loose.

  • LIBRAM

    I luv my Logitech Revue(Google TV).Works Grt.Apps like You Tube, Twitter,Google Music Pandora,tunein and mnay more.$99 and Whole Web on the Tv!!

  • Daxesh Khatri

    Send me Android tutorial….

  • Alex

    Experience Android like you never have before. Exoon XBMC Android TV DUO Pro Rockchip A9 Dual Core Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean TV Box 1GB RAM 16GB ROM 1.6GHz CPU Wifi 3D XBMC-Black Box delivers Android 4 ICS on TV in stunning full HD http://www.xbmcandroidtv.com/

  1. Android hub sounds more like a software name than a hardware name…

    • It sounds more like a sub-part of Android@Home

    • Hopefully the name changes. Just hope this product is pretty seamless, I’ve seen others where you need a box in every room. Hate all the additional hardware.

      • 2-3 yrs down the line, your Android smartphone would be able to control pretty much every electronic device in your home. Your desktop, laptop,tablet, TV, Game console, Refrigerator, Microwave, your car and so on!

        Take that Apple!

        • SquirrelWithAGunAtTheMovieTheaterGuest 3 years ago

          I expect Apple to have an answer by then, maybe the rumored Apple TV will show up, which isn’t really a bad thing. Honest competition is always good since every consumer wins.

  2. waiting for details ……………..

    • What would NFC do on a set top box….. I’m not going to walk up to my TV if I need to change something. The remote was invented for a reason.

      • i would imagine information or video tailored to you as the viewer. if you are a sports fan, think scores, stats, highlights, etc related to your favorite team or fantasy team. if gameplay is part of it, it could read your player info.

        i think nfc chips generally are single purpose. I don’t think the idea behind how they work really lends itself to a remote control type of situation.

      • OwainGuest 3 years ago

        If you want to pair your phone or tablet to your box you simple ‘tap’ the box… no entering pairing pins or codes and all the hassle that come with that.

  3. Gotta check this out when more details arrive. Anything android has my attention.

  4. What happened with android@home? maybe this is the beginning of it?

    • looks like, my only thing is why not already have that as a combo with GoogleTv especially since its going to be marketed under the Google name

      • wallieGuest 3 years ago

        Although Google is in the name I dont see Google TV as being marketed directly by Google. It’s marketed by sony and logitech and the new manufactures will even have a custom UI. Just like android phones nothing comes directly from Google. So this will be something new and different and awesome

  5. Bring it on google

  6. Is that a rendering or Photoshopped image? I hope not, cause it looks freaking sweet. I want.

  7. i’m getting really excited for google i/o this year. can’t wait to see what they have to show off!

  8. SturoidGuest 3 years ago

    So by the sounds of it, this would be along similar lines to how Sonos works

  9. I thought GoogleTV was a big failure, how is this different?

    • Because it’s hard for any product to compete with the TV that is not actually a TV. Changing the name, adding home automation features, and offering it at a lower price will help it succeed.

  10. I think they will more likely announce a partnership of sorts with TV makers. This is better off as baked in software for connected TV’s. Frankly the few boxes I have in my entertainment system, the better. I’d rather have everything already in the TV and not cluttering up the place with cords and cables.

  11. Stang68Guest 3 years ago

    “My speculation is that Android Hub will be a set top box, that is WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC enabled. Look for it to be sold at a mass market price around $99-149. The device will run the latest version of Android and have limited internal storage. Media will be streamed from Google’s services and personal media will be stored in Google’s upcoming cloud storage platform. It will have full access to the Android Market for apps, movies, music, and other goods.”

    This has me very excited :)

  12. If they can somehow add PS3 and 360 quality games… and a movie streaming service better than netflix… I would get this for sure.

    • MBGuest 3 years ago

      The trick is to partner with OnLive – and make sure that the OnLive app is pre-installed on them.

      OnLive does for games (for my family) what Netflix did for movies. Tons of games on demand with total ease.

  13. Please power my home Google!

  14. I hope my broadband can handle this (optimum). Heck I get lag when I stream Netflix at 1080 especially when my other devices are using bandwidth.

    • That’s why cox is the way to go. I run the 360 xbox online game, using laptop and watching netflix on the WII and my speeds stay above 9mbps. It’s awesome.

  15. I’m guessing this will be a component of @home. Do you guys remember the name of the little cube devices they demoed at I/O last year?? Those were sweet and could also play a part in this development. Remember when he showed how using NFC you could tap a newly purchased CD to the unit and instantly the entire album including art, would be dumped into your Google Music cloud?? I nearly had an accident.

  16. How is “Android Hub” less confusing than “Google TV”? “Google TV” describes exactly what it is (a box for your TV built by Google). How is “Android Hub” more descriptive than that?

  17. DilGuest 3 years ago

    NOW IT MAKES ALL SENSE…..
    GOOGLE MOTOROLA DEAL PAYS OFF FOR SETTOPBOX…
    ONE DEVICE FOR WHOLE HOME…..FOR TV MOBILE FRIDGE AND EVEN WASHING MACHINE………
    NO PC REQUIRED ONLY WEARABLE GLASSES….
    ALSO GOOGLE PREPARING OWN PROCESSOR FOR THAT……….

    ANDROID HUB IS COMMING………..
    OH YEAH THIS IS THE NEAR FUTURE

  18. I’d think that “Google” has much better brand recognition among the general public (as opposed to people who visit this site) than “Android”. On the other hand, most people who aren’t familiar with what Android is might not think of Google as anything other than a search engine.

    As for the choice of CPU, didn’t they just switch from Atom to ARM for Google TV devices? Now they’re going back to Atom?

    • Also, say “hub” to the average person in the street, and it’s most likely that the first thing they’ll think of is “cap”.

      • Anthony E.Guest 3 years ago

        really? cap?

        Do people in your country also think sauce when they hear the word apple, or split for banana?

  19. If it lets me play music in multiple rooms with connected speakers from one device (via WiFi), then I’m sold.

  20. JaToMaGuest 3 years ago

    I like the idea of this Android Hub.

    I don’t like the idea of having all my personal data in the cloud. Why should I stream something from the internet, that I already have somewhere at home on a harddrive?

  21. Sounds good, but need more info

  22. BOOM Shake Shake Shake da Room!

  23. I’m down, especially if it’s below $150!!

  24. I’ve read somewhere else that it was going to be Google branded, not Android, but I guess Android has more sense. As for the device, I’m excited, but the details are almost near to none, so is to soon to say anything properly.

  25. Looks nice but how much hardware are you going to have to buy to make this work? If I don’t have a smart TV how do i watch movies on it?

  26. Weird article.

    Whatever this device is will be part of the Android@Home project. It will compliment Google TV rather than replace it.

  27. $20 says they give these out at Google I/O this year.

  28. SreekanthGuest 3 years ago

    You are wrong about Google TV. The first product that came out from Logitech was over priced at 299$ and it failed, true. Then they stopped the product and literally gave it away for 99$. I bought one. Logitech Revue is an awesome device at that cost. It is mostly sold out now. Now it’s about 130$. Many new Bluray players come with built in Google TV. Almost 50% of all new TV’s this year will have Google TV in built. Now, explain to me the failure.

    Please do remember that the new buzz is “Google before you tweet” and that is the new “Think before you speak”. In your case, “write”.

    • MBGuest 3 years ago

      I like the Sony one better – I have that, because I didn’t already have a BluRay player, and it’s far less power hungry than a PS3 when just watching movies.

  29. SreekanthGuest 3 years ago

    You are wrong about Google TV. The first product that came out from Logitech was over priced at 299$ and it failed, true. Then they stopped the product and literally gave it away for 99$. I bought one. Logitech Revue is an awesome device at that cost. It is mostly sold out now. Now it’s about 130$. Many new Bluray players come with built in Google TV. Almost 50% of all new TV’s this year will have Google TV in built. Now, explain to me the failure.

    Please do remember that the new buzz is “Google before you tweet” and that is the new “Think before you speak”. In your case, “write”.

    Posting again, to get notifications.

  30. I like the hardware idea! Something that whole Android ecosystem can interact seamlessly.

  31. I really hope that this box will utilize android beam. To be able to watch a video on the go,or instantly share a song,internet radio station will definetly make this device the one to beat, since Apple and others don’t tie into the Android ecosystem. Utilize you unique assets Google!

  32. Marx1684Guest 3 years ago

    Android needs to make a gaming system that also does everything android devices & gaming systems do. That would be the only hub they ever needed. It would get the most out of the G-Drive & be great for Google TV. I don’t think it would loose.

  33. LIBRAMGuest 3 years ago

    I luv my Logitech Revue(Google TV).Works Grt.Apps like You Tube, Twitter,Google Music Pandora,tunein and mnay more.$99 and Whole Web on the Tv!!

  34. Daxesh KhatriGuest 3 years ago

    Send me Android tutorial….

  35. AlexGuest 2 years ago

    Experience Android like you never have before. Exoon XBMC Android TV DUO Pro Rockchip A9 Dual Core Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean TV Box 1GB RAM 16GB ROM 1.6GHz CPU Wifi 3D XBMC-Black Box delivers Android 4 ICS on TV in stunning full HD http://www.xbmcandroidtv.com/