Google TV’s director of product management Rob Caruso has outlined the company’s plans for its TV operating system in 2022 in a new interview with Google TV. protocol. Though Caruso has stopped announcing specific features, he said the company is interested in offering fitness and video conferencing services through Google TV and better smart home controls.
Caruso called fitness a “big area of research,” citing recent changes to Android’s smart home controls (making them easily accessible through a phone’s power menu, for example) as a clue to what could be coming to Google TV. Zoom was mentioned as a potential addition to the platform (Google’s own Duo video calling service is already available), and he said Google is also interested in expanding the amount of free live programming available on its platform.
Caruso also spoke on Google TV about the situation with Netflix. While the video streaming service is supported on Google’s platform, it does not utilize some of the advanced features. protocol notes that Netflix shows, for example, can’t be added to Google TV’s operating system-level watch list. Caruso didn’t promise this will change, but said he hopes the situation will improve as Google builds valuable new features into its operating system.
While the Google TV operating system does not typically get as much attention as the Android mobile operating system, it is still used by millions of devices around the world. As of this month, Google says there are approximately 110 million Android TV devices in use worldwide, and seven of the top 10 smart TV manufacturers use its software. This includes both Android TV itself and devices with the newer Google TV launcher next to it.
The focus areas are similar to what is available on competing smart TV platforms from Apple and Amazon. Apple’s Fitness Plus service lets you stream workouts to an Apple TV, and Zoom is available on some Amazon TV devices. But given the sheer reach of Google’s TV operating system, it would be good to see it on par with these other services.
No firm release dates for any of these new features were given, but Caruso said he hopes some will be introduced “at some point later this year.”