While the Chromecast gets a lot of the attention for its low price, Android TV has grown considerably since launch and continues to add apps and compelling hardware at an impressive rate.
As we mentioned with the NVIDIA SHIELD update earlier this week, the number of Android TV apps has risen to over 1,000 now, although reminiscent of the Android tablet app dilemma there are only a bit over 50 in Google’s curated list. Some notable new additions include Showtime, HBO Now, CBS All Access, Disney Movies Anywhere, Epix, WWE and UFC.
New Android TV manufacturers continue to come on board as well, with Hisense and TCL representing some of the more recent smart TV makers to offer Android TV. Additionally set-top boxes with Android TV from Pace, Sagemcom, and Technicolor are coming as part of partnerships with KDDI and Telecom Italia, which will allow seamless integration of Android TV with standard TV service.
While I’m excited to see Android TV continue to grow there are still issues that need to be worked out. Chief among them is that I will frequently find apps that aren’t compatible with my specific Android TV. HBO Now and Disney Movies Anywhere for example can’t be installed on NVIDIA SHIELD. There’s enough frustration amongst users regarding streaming services being limited to those that have a specific cable or internet provider without heaping on seemingly random device omissions.
It is still early days for Android TV and again, there have been tremendous strides since launch, but the competition to be the brains behind the streaming media in the home is fierce, so they need to keep moving fast if they are going to keep up.