Even with all its fancy personalization features, Google TV doesn’t feel distinct from Android TV. But that could change in 2022. In an interview with Protocol, Google TV’s director of product management Rob Caruso shared how Google TV could grow over the next year, and even teased some potential new features for the operating system.
While Caruso is careful not to share any specifics, he claims that Google is “exploring” deeper smart home integration for Google TV. He also states that “fitness is another big area of exploration” and claims that video chat software, such as Zoom, could find its way to Google TV.
We’re talking about Google, so there’s no guarantee that any of these “areas of exploration” will pan out. But when you consider Google’s larger product ecosystem, it’s easy to see how Google TV could implement new smart home, fitness, and video chat features.
According to Protocol, Caruso points to Android 12 as a “Blueprint” for new smart home features on Google TV. It makes a lot of sense—Android 12 introduced Quick Settings that let you control smart home devices from your home screen, and a similar feature would work well on Google TV.
Fitness could come to Google TV through several avenues. After all, the Google Fit and Fitbit apps are incredibly popular, and Google recently announced plans to integrate Fitbit with the Nest Hub. And if Google has any sense, it may try to copy Apple’s most recent innovation; the ability to play guided workout videos on Apple TV with Apple Fitness+.
And as rival brands like Amazon debut video chat support for their smart TVs, it only makes sense for Google to do the same. The only oddity here is that Caruso mentions Zoom as a potential video chat option instead of Google Meet or Google Duo.
The interview with Caruso contains more interesting information, including Google TV’s plans to offer more free channels and finally integrate Netflix with the universal search function. Additionally, Caruso says that more smart TV and streaming stick brands should adopt Google TV this year—most non-Google brands simply offer Android TV or another streaming platform.