Ceton have issued another “State of the Echo” post taking about the Android features of the Windows Media Center Extender. With Microsoft not supporting Extenders other than the Xbox 360 on Windows 8 the Android features are in my opinion are vital for the successes of the Echo.
In the post Ceton have said that they have delayed pushing out a beta of the Android features due to the work needed to bring Android to the TV. Ceton are planning integration between Android and Windows Media Center and create a TV-optimised interface. In the post Ceton also say they are working to enable Windows 8 compatibility, whether this is for the Android features or Media Center we will have to wait and see.
As we announced earlier, we’re bringing the Android platform to the Echo as an added feature and initially planned to have a beta out to testers by the end of 2012. If you’re familiar with Android though, you know it was initially designed for mobile devices and touch screens, which isn’t an experience that translates well to television. So, rather than release the beta too early, we’ve been doing a lot of extra work to bring Android to the next level for TV. Instead of the Echo just being a Windows Media Center Extender that also runs Android, we want to make it your go-to device for a wide range of digital media, including live and recorded TV, personal media and online media. We’re very focused on making sure it has a well-designed 10-foot experience that looks great on a large TV and works well with a remote control.
Our vision is something new and bold that hasn’t been done on Android before — a complete integration of Windows Media Center in Android, along with a TV-optimized interface. There are a bunch of Android-based digital media players out there that give you streaming services, but none have integrated Media Center with Android to give you live TV and DVR as well. Not to mention cool features like browsing premieres, movies on tonight, universal content search and other things we’re working on. This will not only bring the power of Android to the Echo, but will enable Windows 8 compatibility as well.