Chris Lacy is a successful Android developer, with his app Action Launcher as well as the recently sold Link Bubble. He also hosts a podcast where he talks about technology with a focus on Android and Google called The Blerg.
This week’s episode is a discussion with developer Annyce Davis, who was recently a developer at the Washington Post. In this podcast, they talked about the successes of Android TV, how it’s much better than Google TV, and some of the current flaws that they see with the platform.
Chris, who has his own launcher, was not happy about the large banners and images on his Sony TV which have low information density. In Marshmallow third-party launchers are no longer allowed so he can’t do much about that even as there are better TV launchers (which have to be launched in an app).
Annyce mentioned that the lack of Chrome on the TV was a significant omission, although she did think it was otherwise done very well. Personally, the web browsers I’ve seen for Android TV have been lackluster. The web wasn’t designed for a DPAD and getting a good experience is understandably difficult. Still, one would say the ability to have some web browsing included opens up a lot of content to users which may not be accessible in an app. Actually, including a web browser in Google TV led to a lot of strained relationships with networks and Google likely wants to prevent the same problem.
Both were optimistic about the future of Android TV, and at I/O this year we’ll likely learn about some more about Android TV’s future. If you want to listen to the episode, you can open the episode here or subscribe to The Blerg in your favorite podcatcher.