Myriad brings Android to TV
Alien View uses its portable version of Dalvik Java VM to allow TV providers to deliver Android apps to existing sets
Published: 20 December, 2011
Proprietary Java virtual machines, like Google's Dalvik for Android, defeat many of the cross-platform objectives of the technology (as highlighted by Oracle's lawsuits against the search giant). Mobile software firm Myriad has brought the portability back with its Alien Dalvik product, which combines the modern features of the Google VM with multi-OS support, allowing Android apps to run on other platforms. Its latest addition to the line is Alien Vue, which brings Android apps to televisions.
While a group of Japanese consumer electronics vendors has been working on an Android implementation for TV, and a variant of the OS underpins Google TV itself, the main focus of Android remains the mobile device. But, as Myriad's CTO Benoit Schilling says, Google's software reach and Android ecosystem need to go beyond a single OS or gadget. "It's an advantage for Google to run its apps everywhere, especially well beyond phones," he said in an interview.
Alien Vue is an end-to-end system which enables TV service providers to add apps to their existing managed service offerings, helping them fend off over-the-top video channels - among them, of course, Google's own. Google may not take too kindly to a solution which turns its own Dalvik against its content model, but Myriad sees a chance to appeal to conventional providers as well as extending Android's reach.
Alien Vue enables internet access via TV allowing Android apps to run alongside existing functions, in a unified user experience. Customers can use their existing TV and set-top box equipment, and the offering nods to the multiscreen trend, working with cellphones and tablets, which can be integrated into the TV view and used as remote controls or second displays.
Vue is powered by Alien Dalvik, which has previously been trialled on mobile Linux platforms like MeeGo. It includes a white label app store, co-developed with AppCarousel, which can be branded by service providers, and it also supports additional plug-in components like Myriad Connect & Share, providing multiscreen functionality for personal and premium content. It can run apps designed for GoogleTV and HTML5, including YouTube, Netflix and Twitter, which appear unchanged from their native environment, says the vendor.
CEO Simon Wilkinson said in a statement: "We have shown how Android apps can work seamlessly across non-Android devices, including mobile phones, tablets and iPads, and now, with Myriad Alien Vue, we have delivered Android to another key screen in people's lives, the TV."