The potential rebranding of Android TV, dropping the Android branding in favor of Google, now bears even more weight. That’s based on a recently reported teardown of the Google Home application. Within the code, as of app version 2.28, there are several instances where “Google TV” is referenced. Specifically in descriptors.
The strings still also reverence Android TV, calling it “atv,” suggesting this change isn’t quite ready for primetime. Or, at the very least, that Googlers haven’t made the effort yet to change the referencing in the code. That’s something that could happen at any time in the development process. Or it could change the branding with the launch of a new product.
Why is this code change appearing in the Google Home app?
Now, it might be expected that changes to Android TV, particularly branding, would appear first in associated apps. Or in code pertaining to the platform itself. That’s as opposed to in the Google Home app. But the code itself also centers around another device. Namely, the Android TV dongle codenamed Google Sabrina.
That dongle is expected to act as a kind of update to the Google Chromecast devices that are currently on the market. But, instead of just working to receive Chromecast signals, it also functions as a full-blown Android TV device.
Leaks have pinned down a price for Sabrina around $50 or $60. And the package comes complete with a bundled remote control for the device.
There has already been a plethora of other information about Sabrina in leaks, leading up to the eventual launch. But it may be that launch that explains why Android TV rebranding is happening in Google Home.
Google Home is a central hub for controlling smart home devices. That includes smart home devices such as the upcoming TV dongle from Google. If the company plans to announce Google TV branding at the same time, it makes sense for the code changes to be associated with the Google Home app.
When will Sabrina and, potentially, Google TV arrive?
As of this writing, Google is expected to kick off an upcoming event a bit early for 2020. As early as September 30, compared to earlier events in early- or mid-October.
That’s the search giant’s annual hardware event and, as a result, the above-mentioned Sabrina TV dongle is expected to arrive at that event. Because the two products appear to be related, the event would appear to be a reasonable platform for both Android TV-related announcements.