Google Getting HBO Now

Google Has Sold 17M Chromecast Adapters (Updated)
hbo now logo 400x300.jpg

Apple’s exclusive on HBO Now, HBO’s new standalone OTT service won't last long.

Google Play will also offer HBO Now for Android, and extend support to the Google Chromecast adapter, Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of products announced Thursday at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, but didn’t announce a precise release date. Cablevision Systems is the first MVPD to ink a distribution deal for HBO Now.  

HBO said HBO Now will come to Android “this summer," and will also offer HBO Now and HBO Go, its authenticated TV Everywhere app that requires a pay TV subscription, via Android TV, Google’s OS for TV-connected devices and smart TVs.

“We’re looking forward to expanding our relationship with Google through HBO NOW. We have seen through social media that there is great demand for the service among Android and Chromecast users and we’re excited to deliver HBO NOW to them,”  Bernadette Aulestia, EVP, domestic network distribution at HBO, said in a statement.

Pichai also announced that Google has sold more than 17 million Chromecast devices.  Google introduced the $35 streaming dongle in July 2013.

In his introductory remarks, Pichai also offered a quick update on Android TV, an OS launched last year. He didn’t cite any specific sales figures, but noted that the Android TV user base has doubled in the last three months.

Update: Pichai also announced Project Brillo, Google’s underlying OS for the Internet of Things. Brillo, he said, is a “polished down version of Android” that can run on devices, such as door locks, with a minimal footprint. Google plans to release a preview version for developers in the third quarter of 2015, followed by a fuller release in Q4. 

He also unveiled Weave, a communications layer for the IoT that provides a semantics blueprint for a common language that can be understood by other devices in the ecosystem.  Using
Weave, for example, a camera can define the command to take a picture in a way that is understood by other devices in the IoT network. The same would apply for lock and unlock commands for connected door locks.

The announcement that brought loud cheers was Google Photos (and should add some stress to the broadband upstream), a service that allows users to store unlimited digital photos for free at up to 16 megapixels. Now branching away from Google+, Google Photos is rolling out today on Android, iOS and the Web.