TCL Google TVs Will Get AirPlay 2 And HomeKit Support, But There’s A Catch

TCL Google TVs Will Get AirPlay 2 And HomeKit Support, But There’s A Catch

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TCL logo under TV


Today, many TVs carry a “smart” label, but not all of them are what they claim to be. Some only have the deceptive semblance of a smart TV by offering some dubious apps, while others connect to the internet but offer very little choice when it comes to what you can do with them. Fortunately, the biggest TV brands do deliver what they advertise, even if they sometimes end up with their own smart TV OS rather than using something that’s readily available.

Over time, these smart TV platforms have expanded beyond just entertainment and have instead become smart home hubs that connect to other IoT devices and even your phones. Of course, that presumes the smart TV actually speaks a language those other devices understand, which isn’t as straightforward as it seems when it comes to Apple’s technologies. Fortunately, manufacturer TCL will be adding support for Apple’s proprietary networks to its new Google TVs, but don’t get too excited if you happen to already own one.

Google TV is the current iteration of Google’s rather confusing strategy for smart TVs. Technically, the product isn’t a completely new platform; it instead functions as a new experience built on top of Android TV. To add to the confusion, Google TV is also the name of an Android app that lets you control Android TV devices. At the moment, the number of Google TV devices is quite low compared to the ordinary Android TV platform. Sony and TCL are currently the only manufacturers that offer Google TV models, though there are some dongles and set-top boxes from NVIDIA, Xiaomi, and Tivo that also offer the same platform. That roster isn’t growing yet, but Google TV is expanding its features regardless.

Google TV and Apple

Apple TV remote in hand

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Although Google would most likely prefer that Google TV owners stick with its own products and technologies like Chromecast, the company can’t really play favorites, especially since it can’t force consumers into its ecosystems. Google has to give way to other players, including rival Apple, as TV manufacturers increasingly add support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. AirPlay 2 allows owners of Apple devices, like iPhones and Macs, to stream videos, music, and photos to the TV. HomeKit, on the other hand, lets those same devices, including a HomePod, control some TV functions.

TCL will be bringing these two features to its upcoming Google TVs, namely the TCL C935, C835, and C735 4K LCD models, according to FlatPanelsHD, which says it participated in a private presentation conducted by the company. The big catch is that these three models are heading to Europe only for now, with no word yet on international availability. Given the way TV makers do their business, there may be a North American release in the near future. Unfortunately, it is less likely that the company will make these features available on older Google TV models, even if they’re completely capable of supporting them.

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