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Google tries to bring Android to the living room again with Nexus Player

HTC and Motorola may have been tapped to make Google’s new mobile Nexus devices, but Nexus 7 veteran Asus wasn’t given the cold shoulder: It’s making the Nexus Player, a puck-like set-top box that signals Google’s renewed assault on the living room with Android TV. And good news: At first glance, the Nexus Player certainly looks less quirky and far more functional than Google’s disastrous Nexus Q project or that handful of dead Google TV devices, though its announcement comes just a day before Apple is expected to possibly announce a revamped Apple TV of its own. 

Remember Google TV? It’s gone. Now there is Android TV and it promises to do everything Google TV couldn’t including play games for just $99. Google partnered with Asus for the first device. Called, Nexus Player, the set top box is reminiscent of the Fire TV and runs Android TV with the help of a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor with PowerVR Series 6 graphics, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. Android TV is a much more simple interface than what was previously used with Google TV. The interface is flat and presents apps and movies on a grid. Users select their options via a remote that’s very similar to the one that ships with Amazon’s Fire TV — even the voice search button is in the same spot. Google also designed the Nexus Player to be a gaming device and is releasing a controller to enhance that experience. Of course Google backed Chromecast into this device, which could be its killer feature. So not only can someone use the Nexus Player with all their favorite streaming apps, they can cast content from any PC, smartphone or tablet. It’s the best of both worlds and something missing from any other device on the market.

 

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