Google is looking more like Apple every day. The technology giant is developing a home entertainment system that streams music wirelessly, according to a report at the Wall Street Journal. The system would be branded with Google's name and operated with a smartphone or tablet, sources told the Journal.
An in-home music system would mean Google is taking a page right out of Apple's playbook. Apple already has AirPlay, a wireless technology that allows music to be streamed throughout a home. AirPlay is integrated into speaker docks, AV receivers and stereo systems so music can be streamed from iTunes. Denon, Marantz and JBL are among the manufacturers to integrate AirPlay into their home stereo devices.
Combined with Google Music, the MP3 store and related cloud-based music locker, a living room and mobile play could give Google a foothold in digital music. The MP3 store launched in November and the unlicensed cloud locker debuted in May.
The mobile piece of Google's music play is about to fall more firmly in place. The Justice Department is nearing approval of Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, according to reports. That deal would give Google patents for technologies ranging from WiFi to video streaming, and it would give a hardware component to go along with its existing software - Google already has the market-leading mobile operating system, Android.
Google's competitors are making their own patents play. Microsoft, Apple, Research in Motion and Sony are part of a consortium that has bid $4.5 billion for the assets - including an estimated 6,000 wireless patents - of bankrupt wireless company Nortel. Reports say the Justice Department is set to approve that deal as well.