Feeds

Google TV receives (much needed) upgrade

If at first you don't succeed...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google has announced a major upgrade to a product that has fallen flat on its Googly face: Google TV.

"The initial version of Google TV wasn't perfect, but launching it gave us the opportunity to learn," Google's VP of product management Mario Queiroz and director of engineering Vincent Dureau co-wrote in a blog post on Friday.

"These are still early days," they added, "and we're working hard to move forward with each update." Early, of course, is a debatable term: Google TV was unveiled on March 20, 2010.

But we have no reason to doubt Queiroz and Dureau's good intentions – at first blush, the update does indeed appear to be an improvement over the fussy UI with which earlier versions were lumbered.

Google TV content browser

A new content browser promises to make it easier for you to find something to watch (click to enlarge)

In addition to a cleaner interface, the new version adds access to the Android market. Well, a quite limited selection of apps in the market, at least.

"Initially, the number of apps won't be large," Queiroz and Dureau admit, explaining quite reasonably that apps which require a touch screen, GPS, or telephony won't be available. They do promise, however, that "50 developers have seeded the Market with cool and useful apps for the TV."

Those would be the developers for whom Google released Google TV templates, guidelines, and a UI library for its Chome–meets-Android Google TV operating system this February.

Google TV apps

We knew Google TV apps would start modestly, but 'Classy Fireplace'? (click to enlarge)

They also promise that the new interface will make it easier to search "Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, and more," and that a new browser called, appropriately enough, "TV & Movies", will let you peruse 80,000 films and TV shows on "cable or satellite, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and many other sites."

What you won't be able to watch is any web-based content from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, or Viacom – the first three blocked Google TV access to that content last October, Fox joined the lockout in November, and Viacom followed suit later the same month.

But for the content you can watch, the new UI has new help. You can now, for example, turn "virtually any topic" on YouTube into its own channel.

The upgrade will be rolled out to Sony Internet TVs early next week and Logitech Revue TVs "soon thereafter".

A cynic might dismiss the entire upgrade with a deck-chairs-and-Titanic metaphor, but as described by Queiroz and Dureau it does appear to be a welcome upgrade for Google TV fans. Both of them. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.