Google is giving set top boxes another try with a device equal parts Chromecast and Fire TV. The new experience is highly visual, incredibly fast, and already is a step ahead in some feature areas. Google’s ADT-1 offers up a great look at what we can expect from the Android TV user experience!
Everything about the Android TV UI is big colors with big text and the beginnings of Material Design. This interface was clearly designed to be able to kick back and enjoy, with the giant background images when you land on content in the main menu and the simple way everything is laid out. Your content sits in rows, starting with the main feed and moving down to installed apps and settings. The main feed gives you access to content based on your previous interactions with Google’s services. It’s a combination of content you own through Google Play Movies and recommended content across the rest of Google’s services.
Android TV’s search functionality works with either the on-screen keyboard or through voice search. The on-screen keyboard for manual entry is exactly as bad as every other manual television entry system, where you have to peck around for the right letter and slowly spell out whatever it is you want.
It’s worth pointing out that you sign in with your Google Account in order to gain access to all of the goodies Android TV provides, and currently this platform is single sign-in. You can use the Settings menu to sign out so someone else can sign in, and being signed in does not affect other users if they decide to cast content to the televisions through Android TV. Seems like this thing will have plenty going for it, and plenty of competition. No word yet on an exact release or pricing though.