Technology

Looming Google showdown with Samsung over television, with Android 4.4 KitKat smart TV upgrades

Andrew Sadauskas /

There’s growing speculation smart television could be a major focus of Google’s forthcoming Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, prompting fears the tech giant could be preparing to battle Korean electronics giants by releasing its own television sets.

According to Korean press reports, Google is set to collide with Samsung over the future of smart TV, with the Korean electronics giant set to use its own operating system – Tizen – to power its future smart TV products from next year.

Meanwhile, LG has been issued with guidelines requiring it to refer to smart TVs as “Android TVs” rather than “Google TVs”.

The news has prompted speculation within the Korean electronics industry that Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility could have more to do with Google’s desire to produce its own televisions, rather than smartphones.

“I heard Google say ‘the next OS has greatly improved its utilization in TV. In particular, there will be many changes in the interface between smart devices and the TV,’” Korea IT News quotes a Korean tech industry insider as saying.

“If you give the job to a Chinese OEM, you can get the TV made for $50.

“Having confirmed the potential of the TV market with Chromecast, Google is more likely than not to develop its own TV set.”

The improvements in Google’s smart TV interface is one of the major changes believed to be included in KitKat.

Last week, Google posted an update to its official developers blog, effectively confirming rumours about a big change in how its forthcoming Android 4.4 KitKat operating system handles SMS text messages.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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