Google is going to announce at least one small set-top box at I/O

Earlier today, Bloomberg published a profile of Android head Sundar Pichai in which it was stated that Google has several Android TV announcements slated for its I/O developer conference tomorrow. The WSJ has now published another report corroborating the earlier profile. According to the report, Google on Wednesday will unveil at least one “small set-top box” running its new Android TV operating system. The set-top box will be aimed as a competitor to devices like the Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. Google’s set-top box will carry another company’s brand, much like Android, but will be powered by Google’s OS. The set-top box will be able to be controlled by Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices.

Google Inc. is to unveil a new television set-top box on Wednesday as it races Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and others to control digital content in the home. During its developer conference Wednesday, the search giant plans to show off at least one small set-top box that resembles products like the Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Apple’s Apple TV, according to two people who have seen the device. Google’s device will carry another company’s brand, but will be powered by Google’s new Android TV software designed to play movies, games and other content on televisions, the people said. Users will be able to control the box using Android smartphones or tablets, and potentially other devices. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment. The details suggest that Google’s television strategy will be similar to its smartphone strategy, providing key software to hardware makers to power their devices. Google has said it would follow the same playbook for wearable devices like smartwatches, the first of which are expected to be shown off at the conference. Those will be powered by another flavor of Android software called Android Wear.

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