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Android TV could become Google TV and we have no idea why

Google absolutely loves a rebrand to confuse people about its various offerings and it looks like yet another is on the way.

According to a 9to5Google report, the company is thinking of ditching the Android TV branding in favour of, you guessed it, Google TV.

While it’s far from big news, it would be a continuation of an overall pattern in removing Android branding from various services and platforms. Android Wear is now WearOS, Android Pay became Google Pay and it seems like eons ago that the Android Marketplace became the Google Play Store.

But why now, with Android TV pretty well established in the smart TV world?

Perhaps the company is planning on launching a standalone, branded Google TV device? Currently, the Big G doesn’t sell any gadgets of its own rocking Android TV and relies on third-party manufacturers like Sony and Nvidia to proliferate the operating system.

Related: Nvidia Shield TV 2019 review

Perhaps the name change would help proliferation of the Google Stadia cloud game streaming service? The name synergy might ensure potential customers realise they’re from the same stable.

Perhaps it believes the Google name carries more weight with consumers? Perhaps it pertains to the influence of the Google Assistant in the wider ecosystem? Perhaps it’s because Android TV has a reputation for updates that arrive even more slowly than in the smartphone realm? Who knows.

When done well, Android TV is up there with the best Smart TV interfaces going. There’s an unrivalled array of apps, the full power of the Play Store’s gaming content and a built-in Chromecast for sharing video and music from a smartphone.

Our favourite might be the Nvidia Sheild (2019), which earned a 4.5/5 star review late last year. It offers Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, 4K video and the GeForce Now cloud streaming platform. Both the Google Assistant and Alexa are fully supported, and the game controller looks mean as hell.

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