In spite of Google I/O 2016 only officially starting today, when it comes to Android TV, a couple of app-related announcements actually came through yesterday. The first was from ESPN, with the sports-oriented content provider confirming that WatchESPN access is now available to Android TV device owners through the ESPN app. This was then followed by an announcement confirming that the STARZ app has also gained support for Android TV. And they are not the only ones as while the keynote presentation was going on, Google also detailed a number of other apps that will be gaining support for the platform.
In a blog post sent out this morning Google confirmed that a number of new apps are going to be gaining support for Android TV and Google Cast in general. Some of the apps listed include the likes of the already mentioned WatchESPN and STARZ, which will be joined by the likes of CNN & Comedy Central. While those more interested in family-oriented Android TV content will be happy to know that a number of more family-suitable content apps are also on their way with WATCH ABC, WATCH Disney Junior, MTV, Freeform, and Nickelodeon all being confirmed to be gaining Android TV support soon. Google also took the opportunity to comment briefly on the influx of hardware products that will be coming through in the future. Specifically name-dropping incoming TV sets from the likes of Sony and Sharp, as well as debut Android TV devices from both RCA and Xiaomi. While Europe will set options coming from June and from manufacturers including the likes of Beko, Grundig and Vestel.
As a result, the one aspect which the posting really does look to drive home is that availability of compatible apps and new hardware devices for the platform is steadily growing and as the platform becomes more sophisticated, more of the bigger and more well-known brands and apps are finally gaining their compatibility. Criticisms of Android TV have looked at the general slow development in both the number of apps and hardware options and as such, this news will try to somewhat help to lessen those concerns.