While Google and Apple have been battling it out on the operating system front for years, more recently, the battle has changed somewhat. Android and iOS are still in competition for your smartphone, but Google and Apple are now also in competition for other and newer devices like your watch and even your TV. Over the last year or two both Google and Apple have brought to market devices which run a TV-tweaked version of their respective operating systems. For Google, this is Android TV and for Apple, this is tvOS. While Google was first to market with their Android TV debut device, the Nexus Player, a recent report out of Apteligent notes that on the face of it, the tvOS-running Apple TV is winning the first rounds of this latest battle. At least in terms of usage, as based on Apteligent's monitoring of the two platforms during May, Apple TV owners use their devices “twice as much” as Android TV consumers use their devices.
Interestingly, when you dig further into the results, as Apteligent has, the levels of usage is not so clear-cut. It seems that while Apple TV owners use their devices far more on weekends (with an increase of roughly 30% compared to the weekday levels of usage) than Android TV, it seems Android TV owners are using their devices more “consistently throughout the weekdays and weekends.” One of the reasons Apteligent suggests for the more ‘consistent’ levels of use by Android TV owners, is that a number of Android TV devices are actual TV sets which come with the platform built-in. An aspect Apteligent suggests leads to a “more consistent, ongoing experience for its users.” As a result, Apteligent also expect the levels of usage between the two platforms to become less as time goes on and as more manufacturers come to adopt Android TV as an interface for their sets.
Another possible reason as to why Android TV device owners could be more consistently using their devices might actually be the stability of the apps. According to the Apteligent findings, Android TV apps are “about twice as stable” as Android apps for smartphones and tablets. Apteligent notes that the crash rate during May for Android TV apps was as low as 1.5-percent. Which is considerably lower than the 3-percent Apteligent attributes to apps crashes for smartphones and tablets running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) during the same period. As such, the Apteligent findings do suggest that Android TV apps are more stable than their mobile counterparts and further suggests that one of the reasons for this, is that Android TV devices do not have to deal with certain connectivity issues, like switching from Wi-Fi to a cellular signal.
Although, one of the more controversial aspects of the report is that Apteligent draws on the removal of the Nexus Player as further evidence that Google’s focus is increasingly leaning more towards OEMs built-in TV options, like those on offer from Sony, Sharp, RCA and so on, instead of their own endorsed standalone options. Of course, this is quite similar to the way in which the mobile side of Android operates and yet Google does still proceed with releasing Nexus smartphones. Not to mention, there is also new standalone units coming in from third-party manufacturers as well. Whether it is the case that Google is less interested in a Nexus-branded Android TV set remains to be seen, although with no current Nexus Android TV device on the market, clearer indications of whether Apteligent's suggestion is true or not will come through when Google does announce its Nexus lineup for 2016 later in the year.