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Google's Putting Some Icing On Its Half-Baked Android TV Cake

Illustration for article titled Googles Putting Some Icing On Its Half-Baked Android TV Cake

Last fall, Gizmodo’s Sean Hollister declared Android TV an exciting, beautiful mess. “You should probably steer clear till Google gets its shit together,” he wrote. Today at I/O, Google’s telling us about an updated Android TV that may indicate that its shit is actually being gathered.

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One of the biggest problems with Android TV was how it integrated with the Google Play store: Its selection of apps was tiny and overly-curated. According to Google, that’s changing. Today the system is getting a major aesthetic overhaul, which will allow you to browse any app in the Play store, not just the small selection of featured apps. Before you could only search for things you knew you wanted to see or play, or browse through a small number of categories—now, Google says you’ll be able to discover things on your own.

Another big criticism of the system? That it felt like “like it’s designed to sell movie and TV rentals,” as Hollister put it. Another new feature added today could go along way to making it feel more interesting: Android TV Channels, which let anyone create a custom channel within the ecology. There are a couple Google is launching today as examples, like Vevo, TED, and Bloomberg—but in theory, you’ll also be able to curate your own channel, which could be a powerful thing for independent producers.

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If you’ve got the right Android TV box, you could also be watching live channels too: the Nvidia Shield Android TV, which launched today for $200, will finally let you access that long-rumored Live Channels app if you plug in a HDHomeRun TV tuner. You can see a picture of it at the top of this post.

Android TV wasn’t finished when it launched last year. This second pass could go a long way towards making it feel complete.


Contact the author at kelsey@Gizmodo.com.

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DISCUSSION

I honestly have no idea why people think TED talks are great. The wife thinks they are inspiring.

After being subjected to them for 2+ years now, I have narrowed them down to two categories:

  • Always have been Rich People who think they are normal Humans working for Minimum Wage and can make a difference with their snot thoughts. (They don’t ever relate to Humans, and never will because of privilege)
  • And people who have become Rich, and think the (in this day and age) extremely rare circumstances that have made them Rich can in someway be duplicated to the e=rest of us, despite the fact that the normal Human simply is not in any way likely, statistically, to be in a set of circumstances even remotely similar. These are people who were simply in the Right Place, at the Right Time. We are talking .01% of the population AT BEST. That means there is a 99.99% chance you will never ever ever ever ever experience the right (not same) set of circumstances to make you Rich.

Either way, it is only a series of Rich People congratulating themselves, and I can’t for the life of me think of any singular TED Talk that has helped me in any way, shape, or form since I was forced to watch them.

If I want to see self-congratulatory assholes, with no experience even remotely like Common Man, I can just turn on Fox News, and put a bullet in my head.