Aereo is coming to Android.
Aereo has confirmed to TG that its controversial streaming TV service will officially arrive on Google’s mobile OS, though it says that it “does not have an exact date for launch” just yet.
An Aereo spokesperson told us that the company expects to make “an announcement about Android with more details on devices and features in September, but the availability of the app would come later.”
The news was first reported by the International Business Times, which was informed by Aereo CEO Chet Kanoja himself. The IBTimes report notes that Aereo initially planned to launch the Android version of its service earlier this summer.
For the unfamiliar, Aereo lets users stream live broadcast television over the internet and record programs to the cloud for an $8 or $12 monthly subscription. It doesn’t provide cable channels, but it does let you watch broadcast networks like ABC, Fox, NBC and the like from any desktop, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Roku or Apple TV device.
It does this by remotely housing tiny TV antennas that stream content back to users. Because Aereo uses antennas, it doesn’t pay the broadcasters their usual retransmission fees, effectively allowing it to show their programs at no extra cost.
Naturally, this has angered the broadcasters. ABC, Fox and others have tried multiple times to sue Aereo on the grounds that it is stealing content–with some broadcasters even threatening to go cable-only if Aereo isn’t shut down–but the courts have ruled in favor of Aereo each time.
On iOS, Aereo is not an “app” in the usual sense. It isn’t downloadable from the App Store, and instead Aereo asks users to access it through their web browser in the same way they’d use it on desktops.
The company tells us that when Aereo arrives on Android, though, it will come in the form of an app within the Google Play store. Aereo says that there are still \”no immediate plans\” for a dedicated iOS app, but that \”it\’s something [it\’s] potentially looking at for the future.\” Macs and PCs will still be browser based as well, according to Aereo.
Either way, a move to Android in an official capacity would be a significant step for the young service. Earlier this year, the company had a scuffle with fellow streaming company PlayOn, which added Aereo as a channel within its own service.
That technically brought Aereo to Android and game consoles for the first time, but the company was adamant in saying that it had no official business relationship with PlayOn (a fact which PlayOn openly acknowledged).
Now, however, a dedicated solution is on its way, and looks to further Aereo’s expansion across the country. The service was first made available in New York City last year, but began spreading out to the Boston, Atlanta, and Utah regions over the past few months.
The Chicago, Miami, Houston and Dallas areas are scheduled to get service by the end of September as well. Aereo has said it plans to expand to about a dozen more regions before the end of the year after that.
And with official support for the world’s most widely-used mobile OS on the way, Aereo’s future appears to look like one of continued growth–regardless of how many broadcasters it angers along the way.
Source: International Business Times