Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President of Products, took to the stage this morning to kick off Google I/O, the company’s largest annual event. The opening keynote presentation is where Google talks about and reveals information regarding their most important products, and is where Google announced Android TV a year ago. As Pichai, one-by-one, talked about each of Google’s top services, he eventually came to Android TV where he spent just 30 seconds on the subject. He mentioned the operating system would be released on Sony and Sharp TVs in the US and on Philips TVs in Europe. Pichai then covered Android TVs “streaming console” offerings by mentioning the Nvidia Shield and that “Razor has one.” He finished by saying that Android TV has doubled its user base in the last 3 months. Two hours later, the keynote ended without ever mentioning Android TV again.
Sundar Pichai ended today’s big keynote by saying “This is why [Google] I/O is so exciting for us. We get to share what we’ve been up to in the last year.” The fact that Android TV was virtually omitted from the presentation this year, when it was such a large part of last years keynote, doesn’t bode well for Google’s commitment to the platform. It’s not an indication of Google abandoning Android TV as a failure by any means, but I expected more than just a brief acknowledgement of its existence. The more competition the Fire TV has, the more likely Amazon will continue to push the platform forward with new features. I just hope the new Apple TV, rumored to be released next month, gives the Fire TV some competition.