Google releases the next Google TV Update next week to existing Google TV products.
It is time to connect your Sony Google TV again. Google unveiled a new release of Google TV that should make it actually usable. Google acknowledges in the announcement that the first version was not perfect, but they were able to learn a lot how Google TV should work. With the renewed rumors of the Apple TV, the interest in Google TV might get reignited as well. The Apple TV is also supposed to make TV watching easier no matter where the content is delivered from. The latest rumors says that the Apple TV will have a Siri voice interface that would make all the difference.
Back to what is available today. There are four areas of improvement in the new Google TV software:
1. Keep it simple
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.
2. Make it easy to find something worth watching
Google improved search across the board for content from Live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, and more. But what if you don’t know what to search for? There’s now an app called “TV & Movies” that let’s you easily browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes across cable or satellite, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and many other sites. If you’ve opted in to recommendations, we can better predict what you want to watch next.
3. Make YouTube better on TV
Google is launching a new YouTube experience specifically built for Google TV. It is now fast and easy to get to your favorite HD-quality YouTube entertainment. And we’ve integrated YouTube more closely with Google TV search, so that you can turn virtually any topic – mountain biking, cooking, etc. – into a channel.
4. Bring more apps to TV through the Android Market
Google is 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.
Google will release the update next week for existing Sony Google TV and Logitech Google TV Box owners. It is not clear yet if a new generation of Google TV hardware will come this Fall. I would think yes. Prices of the current Google TV hardware has come down a lot and are in limited supply. The Logitech Revue box sells for only $99.99 on Amazon. The Sony NSX-32GT1 32-inch Google TV is on sale for only $466.04 on Amazon.