French telecom company Bouygues Telecom has been working on bringing their Google TV-powered cable boxes, the Bbox Miami, to the Android TV platform in a new update. They have said that Android TV will be available starting in the 2nd quarter of 2016, after many months of field testing. Now that the OS update is being launched, the company has decided to release a remote app that not only supports the Bbox Miami, but any Android TV.
This is likely taking advantage of the built-in remote control service that Google uses for their own remote control app. Users are able to search and connect to any Android TV on their Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth isn’t supported, and control is with more options than the default app.
Users can control the TV using a DPAD or touchpad, something also in the remote app. However, the main screen also has controls for adjusting the volume and changing the channel. Voice search is also supported and works just as expected.
As this is a cable box, users can see channels and current programs on their phone, allowing them to easily change channels or see what they want to watch. In addition to channels, your TV apps also are displayed, allowing users to open apps from their phone.
This sounds great, and it’s free to download. The one big downside to many people is that the app is in French. Being a French telecom, this makes sense. While knowing how to speak French isn’t strictly necessary, an English translation is likely going to be a major feature request.
Hopefully this signals an opening up of the Android TV remote API, allowing any developer to create remote apps, much like they did with Google TV, and create useful macros that can do multiple actions at once. Imagine a remote control button that launches a movie while communicating with other IoT devices to dim the lights and start the popcorn machine.
Update: As user Kawshik points out in the comments, a recent update does add English translations.