Google’s new Chromecast was just the first step of its ambitious living room plan

Nothing makes an article easier to write than two things with the same name!

It turns out Google launched a very cohesive streaming platform with Google TV yesterday, as a new update and name is now rolling out to the Google Play Movies & TV app.

Google more or less renamed the public-facing version of Android TV to Google TV to launch alongside its new Chromecast. But a new update to the Google Play Movies & TV app suggests that the company is copying Apple’s smart TV-OS playbook.

Just like how Apple has both an Apple TV device and an Apple TV app, Google now has the Google TV platform on televisions and, through the Google Play Movies & TV app, update a presence on mobile and the web, too.

The big question this leaves is whether Google will follow this branding approach with the Google Play Store and Play Books. It’s already replaced Play Music with YouTube Music, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Play Books become Google Books in the near future. That said, Google probably wouldn’t re-brand the Play Store, but I think it being the only service with Play-branding makes it stand out even more, which is a good thing.

How Google TV works

The main Google TV page sources content from apps like Prime Video, Crave, YouTube, Disney+ and others, but not Netflix.  That’s not to say you can’t use the Netflix app, but its content won’t appear on the main page.

Google hopes that structuring the main Google TV page like this will help people find content to watch faster, without having to dip in and out of a bunch of different apps. This is a smart idea that many companies, including Apple and Amazon, are also trying to do with their smart TV OS home screens.

This is likely a smart move for Google and should help unify content under one app on Android. While the Apple TV app is good, I never find myself using it that much because it doesn’t recommend that much content I want to watch, plus its interface is also littered with movies and shows to rent, which is pretty annoying to see. Plus, the simple fact that it can’t draw content from Netflix means it’s missing out on a vast streaming library to offer from.

There have been rumours that Google is working on a service called ‘Kaleidoscope’ that is supposedly going to show content from streaming services all in one place. Netflix was involved in this leak, but I’m still skeptical that the streaming giant is going to allow people out of its app so they can search its content alongside other streaming services.

Netflix has been very clear that they’re competing for users’ eyeballs more than anything else, so allowing Google to place the streaming giant’s shows besides those from HBO and Prime Video would really go against this since it gives people other non-Netflix options to watch.

This is likely a smart update for Google, but the confusing rollout of the new Google TV platform and how exactly it’s taking over Android TV is likely going to make this more confusing for people than it has to be in classical Google fashion.

We’ve been unable to download the update, but when you search for Google Play Movies & TV on Google Search, it says ‘Google TV (previously Play Movies & TV),’ but it still doesn’t allow me to download it. This suggests that it’s going to roll out to people fairly quickly.

Via: Android Central