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Google TV Take Two Launches Next Week with Streamlined Interface, Android Apps

Back in May 2010, Google announced plans to launch "Google TV", a software offering available either in a set-top box or built into TV sets and designed to integrate television with the Web. Google TV officially launched in October of that year, but has so far failed to catch on with consumers.


Addressing the platform's shortcomings, Google today announced that early next week it will launch a major software update intended to significantly improve the functionality of the Google TV software. Among the most notable improvements are a streamlined interface with improved searching capabilities and compatibility with apps through the Android Market.
The interface is now much simpler. The new customizable home screen gets you to your favorite content quickly. And within “all apps” you can see all of your shortcuts, similar to your Android phone or tablet.

...

We are opening up the TV to the creativity of content creators large and small through Android Market. Android developers can now bring existing mobile apps or entirely new ones to TV. Initially, the number of apps won’t be large – apps requiring a touch screen, GPS, or telephony won’t show up – but 50 developers have seeded the Market with cool and useful apps for the TV. We’re excited to see the number of apps grow.
The update will be rolling out to Sony devices early next week, with Logitech's set-top boxes set to receive the update shortly after.


Google's movements in the television space have been closely watched by Apple observers, in part due to Apple's own efforts in the market with the Apple TV, which was relaunched late last year as a set-top box for streaming content. Apple has also been said to be working on its own connected television set, with the most recent report arriving yesterday and indicating that Apple is seeking to launch a Siri-enabled TV by 2013.



Top Rated Comments

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100 months ago

wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.


I didn't realise you could by television sets with an Apple TV built in. Could you enlighten me as to when this change happened?
Rating: 21 Votes
100 months ago

wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.


It's not a rip off, it's a completely different style of device. Your whole TV setup goes through your google TV device (at least with my logitech one). The interface is at the heart of everything you do. If you search for the Simpsons, it will search your DVR recordings, up coming live episodes, you tube, and so on.
It's a shame the devices and interfaces suck so much it's not worth using. Hopefully this update will help.
Rating: 15 Votes
100 months ago
Maybe this will motivate Apple to advance the Apple TV lineup again.
Rating: 13 Votes
100 months ago

Maybe this will motivate Apple to advance the Apple TV lineup again.


I fail to understand why Apple has not opened up Appstore possibilities for the existing Apple TV.

I love my Apple TV, but It is still a crippled device.
Rating: 12 Votes
100 months ago

Hm, let's see...black background? Check.

The exact same tint of blue for selections with a slight haziness? Check.

Silver fonts for section titles with a grey gradient? Check.


Do they look the same? That's the question. Answer it please. Do they look the same?

That's like saying a Big mac is the same as a whopper because both have buns, and meat and are served with fries.
Rating: 10 Votes
100 months ago

Hm, let's see...black background? Check.

The exact same tint of blue for selections with a slight haziness? Check.

Silver fonts for section titles with a grey gradient? Check.

Next thing you know, everyone will be copying Apple for using English.
Rating: 10 Votes
100 months ago

wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.


Um, the Apple TV was hardly the first device of its kind. The original ATV basically just put your iTunes content onto your TV via a hard drive. About a dozen other companies had already done this first.

ATV2 was a streaming box more for iTunes but added Netflix, YouTube, and slowly other channels.... however, game consoles, Roku, and others were first to market with this kind of device. Apple just put their own spin on it.

ATV 1&2 had the best interfaces and ease of use, IMO, but they were stripped bare of content compared to competitors and media formats. (Lots of people hacked their ATV1's with Boxee or Plex as a work around.)

The Google TV in concept was an awesome device. It combined the features of all the streaming boxes, added an old school "web TV" option, and some other features. It was crippled because networks blocked Google TV's broswer from accessing their sites, right down to Hulu. So you could search, but not watch. It didn't play well with DVRs or work as one.

Still, Google did EXACTLY what Apple did, and took an existing product and improved on it.

If you really wanted to get technical about it, Microsuck probably deserves some cred for starting the trend with Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360 as a later means before anyone else. (And it pains me to consider Microsoft innovated a new concept. Please someone tell me I'm wrong and who to properly credit.)

So if there is a negative about this story, it is that interface refresh doesn't fix the CONTENT issue that killed version 1 of the Google TV. You are still blocked from the majority of content on the web.

Now an App store is a nice addition, providing anything useful ends up in there.

I hope Apple finally releases something similar for the ATV.
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago

Hm, let's see...black background? Check.

The exact same tint of blue for selections with a slight haziness? Check.

Silver fonts for section titles with a grey gradient? Check.


"Black background"? Seriously?
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago
There you have it folks, according to the fanboys, Apple invented the colour "black".
Rating: 9 Votes
100 months ago
So I have one of the Logitech Revues (got it for free when they launched!) and have been using it as my primary TV interface. FYI, I used to have an Xbox with XBMC running, Boxee as well as an AppleTV. The reason I like GoogleTV is that I don't need to switch inputs on my TV since it's all feeding through the unit (compared to changing inputs from Cable to AppleTV). This was a huge differentiator for me.

Plus, GoogleTV has native DLNA support so my entire media library on my NAS is immediately available to stream movies. So on my Mac, I could copy a file onto my NAS, hit refresh on GoogleTV and then be watching it. It works well.

Anyway, would I have spent money on the hardware if I didn't get it for free? No Way. Only if it was $79. If not, I would probably be using a Roku box now.

But I can't wait for this update. They might have actually gotten it right. All I'm hoping for is Amazon OnDemand as an app versus the website which is currently on GoogleTV. The Netflix interface really sucks (compared to AppleTV) so hopefully they vised that too. Anyway, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. There are some pluses and hopefully the update brings more.
Rating: 8 Votes

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