Difference Between Google TV and Android TV

Google has introduced the new interface for Android TV, nicknamed Google TV, which has in fact replaced the predecessor on the new Chromecast and on some Sony and TCL TVs. While many think the two services are the same, there are substantial differences between Google TV and Android TV.

Before understanding the differences between the two services, it is important to explain what both interfaces are and how they work.

What is Android TV?Difference between Google TV and Android TV

Android TV is a Google operating system designed in 2014 for televisions and media players. In short, Android TV was designed to bring the content you interact with from your smartphone to your TV. This does not mean that you will have to answer calls or browse the email, but you will be able to access services that until recently were also only unthinkable on TV.

To date, there are many streaming applications such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, Infinity, but also many games.

The Android TV interface is very uncluttered and aims to offer a smooth and simple experience. In addition, from 2017 onwards, Android TV includes integration with Google Assistant with which you can interact vocally. In fact, simply say “Ok, Google” to check the contents of your TV or your smart products at home.

Furthermore, if you connect your phone and your TV via the same Wi-Fi network, Android TV provides the integrated Chromecast with which you can project the contents of your phone on the big screen, without the aid of any accessory or cable.

The Android TV home screen helps you find out what content you can access on your TV. The Netflix and Prime Video apps, for example, will show you a carousel with previews of the contents recommended by their catalog.

What is Google TV?What is Google TV?

Unlike Android TV, Google TV is not an operating system, but a graphical interface based on the same Android system. In fact, Google TV is the interface of all devices compatible with Android TV 10.

Google TV’s goal is to ensure that users can access the most viewed and recommended content directly from the home screen.

You will be able to access anything you want without opening the specific streaming app, as long as you are already logged into your account. Google TV, in fact, groups and lists various television programs and films in a single menu customized by the user.

The interface is currently available on the new Google Chromecast and the latest Smart TVs. But get used to seeing this new version because it will gradually replace Android TV.

What are the differences between Google TV and Android TV?

Here are the main differences between Google TV and Android TV:

  • Android version
  • Interface
  • Live channels
  • Google TV app
  • Google account
  • List of saved titles
  • Parental controls and child profiles

Android version

The two interfaces are based on two different Android versions. Android TV is the interface on the version of Android 9, while Google TV is that of Android 10.

Therefore, it is possible to switch from Android TV to Google TV only by updating the version of the Android operating system.

Interface

There is little to say, Google has renewed the interface as it should have been from the beginning, very similar to the one already present on the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Instead of focusing on apps, like the old Android TV interface did, the new Google TV interface puts content first, no matter which application it is sourced from.

At first glance, the graphics seem much cleaner and easier to use, especially in finding advice on what to watch without having to browse each App.

Live channels

A recent Protocol article reveals that Google may change Google TV services by introducing free TV channels.

Introduced channels should also have commercial breaks, similar to the classic channels you are used to seeing with an antenna. For the moment, no additional information has been provided and we will not elaborate further.

Google TV app

After dismissing the old App (Android Remote Control), some of its features will be integrated into the new Google TV app for smartphones, which will also replace the Google Play Film App.

The new version of the Google TV App will in fact be a remote control to control Chromecast and other products based on Google’s operating system for televisions. The connection with the TV will be via Bluetooth connection.

The App offers navigation controls with a digital gesture pad, the Home and Back buttons, the ability to call the Google Assistant and of course manage the volume. On Android 11 and 12, the App for Google TV will appear as a shortcut in the drop-down menu of smartphones, a bit like on iPhones updated to iOS 15.

Google account

Personalization with recommended content will be broken down by individual user profiles. This allows family members to receive advice tailored to them, without mixing your children’s interests in cartoons and the horror movies you may like so much.

List of saved titles

For some time now, saving your favorite movies directly from the search engine tabs has been introduced to Google. All this information will be interconnected via your account and you can find it later on your TV.

Whether it’s your phone, your laptop, or a Google Home in the other room, all of these devices connected to the same account can be used to add a movie to your watch list.

Parental controls and child profiles

In addition to using user profiles for personalized content suggestions, you can also set up profiles for children, complete with content filters and parental controls.

These profiles offer:

  • age-appropriate content recommendations,
  • a child-friendly home menu, and filters for apps, movies,
  • shows that can be edited by parents.

Great news for moms and dads who can block individual apps and specific titles right from their smartphones. It also lets you limit viewing to specific time periods by turning off the TV at the time your kids need to go to bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google TV Replacing Android TV?

Yes, even if the operating system will always run on Android, Google TV will replace what is now called Android TV. More than talking about radical change, it is a re-branding of the US giant.

What devices will have Google TV?

Currently, the only ones that have Google TV are the new Chromecasts and the recent Sony and TCL TVs. According to Google, however, in the coming months, there will be the first updates on TVs with the version of Android 9.

Is Google TV a subscription service?

No, Google TV is just a graphical interface with which to browse the movies and TV series of your favorite apps. However, Google TV may suggest subscription App movies and programs such as Netflix, which requires a monthly fee. However, you can turn off the option that allows Google TV to show recommendations on subscriptions and apps that you don’t have.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Google TV uses the same Android operating system, but with a completely new look. Even the name change seems to be more a choice to strengthen the company’s brand than to distort the system.

The step forward with the new interface is mind-blowing. It could finally bring out Android as the best operating system on Smart TVs.

It’s only a matter of time now before Google TV will actually replace Android TV. For now, unless you want to buy the new Google Chromecast, you’ll have to be patient for a few more months.

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