What you need to know
- Google TV seeks to better unify its home ecosystem for users.
- The company is reportedly looking to add support for Nest speakers and Pixel Buds.
- Google is apparently hoping to integrate Wear OS and Fitbit, allowing users to have an interactive workout experience on their TVs.
- Home security and other smart home functions are also tipped to be on the way in the years to come.
Instead of just sitting and watching, Google TV is preparing to try and get users up and moving with new features rumored to head to the platform. These rumored plans include integrating fitness services with its streaming platform, which would birth a new line of interactive fitness for Google TV. This new direction for Google is to eventually unify its ecosystem with sound, home security, and more.
According to Protocol, Google met with its partners at an event last month where it said there are plans to "build an ecosystem of closely integrated Android devices." Google is also said to be working on allowing its collection of Nest speakers to connect wirelessly with Google TV and Android TV devices, a feature that's been surprisingly absent from the platform. Protocol states that Google is also eyeing the possibility of bringing that sort of feature to third-party products, allowing any of the best Google Assistant speakers to connect with your TV and potentially enhance your entertainment experience without needing to buy a separate soundbar.
Additionally, Google is apparently working on utilizing Fast Pair technology for its Pixel buds to connect to its TVs. These audio features could appear in consumers' hands later this year or sometime next year, per Protocol.
A more interactive fitness experience is also on the table for the company's new list of additional features for Google TV. Apparently, the company is looking to bring video workouts to the platform, not unlike what we've seen from companies like Apple and even Samsung. Additionally, some Wear OS integration may be in the cards, allowing users to see their heart rate, calories burned, and other data on the TV while synced to a smartwatch, including Fitbit devices. Protocol reports that these new functions could see an early 2023 release.
There's also mention that Google will be looking at connecting its smart TV services with its home security. The company only recently allowed its Chromecast with Google TV device to livestream video feed from its Nest Cam and Doorbell devices. However, a deeper integration would essentially enable users to control other smart home devices from their TV without interrupting what they're watching.
To ensure compatibility, Google is apparently upping spec requirements for new Android TVs and Google TV devices running Android 13. This will include support for Bluetooth 5 at the minimum and a potential storage increase with the hope that new devices sport at least 16GB of space so users can download and run more applications. That's noticeably double that of Google's flagship dongle, potentially removing a pain point for some users, particularly when it comes to downloading updates.
Nothing has been confirmed by Google so far, but if any of it reins true, it could signal a huge boost for the platform as it competes against other streaming devices and smart TV OSes. Google TV has been slowly making headway as more TVs and devices come preinstalled with the platform, but its feature set still leaves much to be desired compared to others like Apple TV. These moves could bolster not only Google's TV platform but its Wear OS platform and overall ecosystem, which has been the focus of the company's "Better Together" initiative as of late.
Chromecast with Google TV is one of the best smart TV devices you can buy, thanks to its access to thousands of apps, Google Assistant support, and helpful recommendations for people who are always looking for the next best thing to watch.
Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.
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