Google TV is a free-standing Android-based platform for the new Chromecast devices but it also has its own app, now replacing Google Play Movies & TV in the Play Store. The change, widely circulating in the news, has started already, in fact. That means that the next time users update the Google Play Movies & TV app, it will be rebranded to Google TV.
It also means a wealth of other changes are coming, from Watchlist integration to content aggregation. And that may be the biggest change that's incoming. Google TV, unlike the product it's replacing, is anything but a place solely intended for content purchased on the Play Store.
With Google TV, either on-device or on their television, users will be able to search up content from all of their different services. Whether that's Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, CBS All Access, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Starz, or another service.
All that's needed is a search. The app will then pull up the content, similar to in a web-based Google search. In fact, content can be added via a web search or Google app search too. Adding content on those platforms via the "Watchlist" button adds the content to the Watchlist in the new app. And on the new Chromecast-based Google TV platform.
There's even more on the Google TV-enabled Chromecast
Now, Google TV will also aggregate any content purchased through the Movies & TV segment of the Google Play Store. But users who buy into the new Chromecast will also bring additional perks. That's on top of the ability to save content for later viewing via Watchlist.
The new hardware device replaces the Google Chromecast Ultra in the line-up of streaming devices but on that's more than just another castable gadget. Instead, the new device serves the aggregation features of the new Google TV platform. And that comes complete with a remote, voice controls, and voice search.
Once users fire up that device, they'll also get recommendations based on their watch history, services, and other details gathered by Google. Or they can choose to focus on apps themselves with apps-only mode.
All of that is to say that Google TV isn't just replacing long-standing platforms. It's bringing them all together with the best of what Google has to offer in entertainment. And that's culminated nowhere better than the new Chromecast device, powered by Google TV.
This will affect apps on other platforms too
Since one of the biggest aspects of this change is a complete rebranding of Google Play Movies & TV, it's also going to affect those apps on other devices. Or at least it will eventually. Google hasn't fully laid out its plans on other platforms such as Roku or smart TVs yet. Or on iOS, for that matter. More details will likely become available over time. For now, those apps will continue to work as they always have.