Rumour has it that Google plans to rebrand its Android TV platform to Google TV.
The news comes from 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall, who says that “one little birdie” informed him of the plan.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to go on beyond that. While the rumour could be true, it’s hard to tell at this stage and you should take it with a grain of salt. That said, the rumour does track with Google’s recent behaviour.
Over the last few years, the search giant has steadily split the Android brand name from a variety of its products. However, Google’s effort to remove the Android brand isn’t because the mobile operating system is going anywhere. On the contrary, Android is here to stay.
Google gave the Android brand a facelift last summer and, as 9to5Google points out, Google told the publication Android wasn’t going anywhere.
Instead, it seems Google’s rebranding effort is more about communicating with customers. For example, as part of the company’s Material Design 2.0 push, it brought a familiar design and layout to almost all of its apps. Love or hate the clean, stark and very white design of Google’s apps, it’s now more clear than ever what’s a Google product and what isn’t.
It helps that most Google apps also feature the Google logo positioned prominently somewhere near the top of the interface. Below are some examples of apps that received a rebrand from Android to Google:
- Android Market > Google Play Store
- Android Pay > Google Pay
- Android Wear > Wear OS
- “Android Messages” > Messages
While those last two didn’t receive new Google branding, they did very clearly become Google products as communicated by changes in design, logo or other means. Plus, there are plenty of other “Google” apps like Keep, Tasks, Duo, Gmail and Calendar that sport the new look and more unified brand. More recently, Hangouts Meet and Chat rebranded to Google Meet and Google Chat.
The point of all this is to clearly distinguish to users what is and isn’t a Google experience. Further, since Android can be modified by manufacturers, putting the Google brand on a product ties it to the search giant instead of the OS, which could increase interest or trust in the product.
Ultimately, it remains a rumour that Google plans to change the branding of Android TV. Whether that comes to pass, it’s safe to say that the company’s efforts in the TV space will continue for the foreseeable future.