Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Google's Android TV Gets New User Interface With Better Content Recommendations


Pichai has made AI the foundation of his strategy since becoming Google's CEO in late 2015, emphasizing that technology is rapidly evolving from a "mobile-first" world, where smartphones steer the services that companies are building, to an "AI-first" world, where the computers supplement the users' brains.

Google will make it easier for developers to make use of that added computing power by introducing a new application programming interface for neural networks, Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, announced on Wednesday at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California. From the image above, it does certainly seem as though preferences will be given to some apps (presumably the ones Android TV device owners use the most), with other apps being pushed further back into the system.

Google is announcing a lot of bells and whistles Wednesday - but a good chunk of them are already being done by rivals such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

"Siri's got company, and all these other guys are pretty serious about it", said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

"We want Google Cloud to be the best cloud for machine learning", Pichai said. "We are not just a OTT platform", Prueter said.

There are new picture in picture modes and "Notification Dots", which allow users to fire up preview windows to see notifications, without having to actually open the app and rummage around for any pressing information. It bakes features directly into Google's mobile operating system that are designed specifically for cheap phones, including software to manage cellular data costs.

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Google is also planning a slimmed down version of Android for low-end phones, primarily used in the developing world.

Google added features to its internet-connected Home speaker - such as hands-free calling. The most recent version dubbed Nougat went into wide release in August but now runs on only 7% of Android devices.

The coming version of Android, referred to simply as "O" for the time being, will also have boosted artificial intelligence features along with enhanced security, executives showed.

"There is a continuing trend where devices are becoming devalued and what is on the screen is becoming more valuable", Blau said.

"With AI, all the apps are getting upgraded so they don't need new hardware".

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