The Android TV market has been growing lately, and Google Senior Director of Product Management for Android TV, Shalini Govil-Pai, has announced that new devices are coming soon. She stopped short of naming any products that are on the way, but did take the time to brag about the app ecosystem for Android TV devices. Govil-Pai said that Android TV now has 5,000 apps available for the platform.
The 5,000 app number is a significant gain from last year when the platform had only 3,000 apps available. The huge growth in app availability is thanks to the substantial increase in users for Android TV over the last few years says Govil-Pai. Google has been mum on user numbers for Android TV for a while, the last number mentioned by the search giant was last year when it said the Google TV platform has "tens of millions of users."
One challenge despite the larger number of apps is that Google says some of the apps don't get the attention they need from developers. Specifically called out was the Hulu app on Google TV with a Google spokesperson stating there are "conversations happening" with some app developers. The spokesperson also mentioned that an Amazon Prime Video app for Android TV would land mid-Summer.
Google is working on a Play Store redesign to help encourage app developers to work on apps. The design promises to be "more visual" and "cinematic." While it's not clear what the coming Google TV hardware might be, it's nice to know that hardware is coming. Right now the primary Google TV device out there is the NVIDIA Shield which is getting older.
JBL announced the JBL Link Bar last year, but the device has yet to hit the market. Keep an eye on the FCC for hints about the new hardware as it gets certifications needed to launch in the States. We saw the Chromecast 4K Android TV dongle land there about a year ago.