There are now more than 600 apps available on Android TV, and Google just took some steps to help users with app discovery on its TV platform. The company launched a new version of the Google Play store for Android TV this week that now lets users browse all apps, or explore curated selections in over 20 collections.
The announcement comes just a week after Google unveiled a new way to access content on Android TV: The next version of Android will give app publishers the ability to program linear TV channels, and have their shows live right next to broadcast TV stations like ABC and CBS on Android TV devices.
App discovery has always been tricky on TV. Users just don’t want to read a lot of text, or use complicated search queries, from the comfort of their couch. That’s why Android TV initially just highlighted a selection of apps in its app store. However, that approach made it hard to find new apps, which is why the new version of the app store now allows browsing of the entire catalog.
A catalog, one should add, that’s still smaller than the number of apps on competing platforms. Roku has more than 2000 apps available on its platform, and Amazon’s Fire TV now offers access to over 1700 apps and games.
Apple TV, on the other hand, offers consumers less than 70 apps. Apple has only invited select publishers to bring their services to Apple TV, and hasn’t opened up the platform to other developers yet. The company was expected to announce a new version of its streaming box with a full-fledged app store at its WorldWide Developer Conference in San Francisco next week, but reportedly postponed the announcement because the hardware wasn’t ready for showtime yet.