Android TV is Google’s platform for smart TVs, running on set-top boxes and TV sets. It runs the full Android underneath some TV-specific UI. This means users can do a lot of things that you may not expect on a TV. They can sideload one of millions of apps on the Google Play Store and control it with a Bluetooth mouse. Or they can simply watch Netflix using the included remote. In order to get a better look at user’s habits, we conducted a straw poll of users on the site. Twenty-seven users responded.
This was the most common action by far, with 81% of voters saying they did this primarily. It makes sense. The benefit of Android TV is being able to watch content on a large screen. Whether this is Netflix or Live Channels, a lot of users stream video on their TVs.
In some houses, the TV is the best speaker in the house. You may want to use it to stream music from YouTube or Spotify through the native apps. If you’re entertaining guests, they can easily pick up the remote and play what songs they enjoy.
Android TV can also serve as a robust gaming device, as evidenced by some devices. Gamepads easily pair to it, allowing you to play numerous Android TV games. Although there are a number of games, only 4% of voters said this was their primary activity on Android TV.
Cast Content to TV
Although Android TV is all about native apps, plenty of content can be played through the Chromecast receiver built in to every Android TV. This was something 8% of voters said was their primary activity. While there are benefits to using the familiar UI on your phone, it doesn’t have the same leanback experience as using a remote control.
There are plenty of other things you can do by sideloading apps. Want to browse the web? Work on a document? View slideshows? One great thing about Android is its open platform which allows all kinds of software to be built, even if the need isn’t that obvious. Hopefully these poll results can be useful to developers as they consider whether to target Android TV or not.
What kind of stuff do you do on your TV? Let us know in the comments below. Our next poll takes a look at the past year of Android TV development and tries to ascertain what has been the most exciting.