GoogleTV Relaunch; Now Includes Android Market, Cleaner UI & More!


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Jan 5, 2011

We thought we should share this particular news for any of our users that are GoogleTV fans. Be sure to check out and discuss all your GoogleTV news and info at our sister-site, @!

Google just launched their newest update of GoogleTV, and it is such a massive improvement, it could easily be called a relaunch of the product. Practically everything has been improved from the ground up. Here's a quote from GoogleTV's blog with some launch time-frames for different devices,
This software update will be coming to Sony devices starting early next week and Logitech devices soon thereafter. We look forward in the coming months to announcing new software updates as well as new devices on new chipsets from multiple hardware partners.

Let's dive into the new features. Here's a complete breakdown of the most notable changes taken directly from the GoogleTV Blog:
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
We’ve 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
We’re 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
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.

Let's elaborate a little deeper on these features. First, the biggest and arguably best change is access to the Android Market. According to Google TV VP of Product Mario Queiroz, there will be around 40 or more featured apps that are optimized for Google TV, including QVC for Google TV, Wall Street Journal Live, Pandora, Clicker, Twitter & more. Furthermore, the number of compatible apps will be approximately 1600 to 1800 at first. It's important to note that this number will include many mobile apps that may just have been altered slightly to also run on the TV screen. Additionally, users can now install non-market apps which should appeal to the hackers and developers, and help to build a developer community that can improve the device over time.

Additional, the UI has been streamlined and the programming guide has been greatly enhanced, yet simplified. Their intention was to "get out of the viewer's way" as much as possible. In fact, the programming guide offers access to live TV listings along with online sources for video content, and there is even an (opt-in only) option to receive personalized recommendations based on your own past ratings and viewing patterns. Furthermore, searching for your favorite content is now easier than ever. Also, YouTube is no longer just an afterthought, but is more heavily integrated into the design to improve its usability and picture quality. You can now start YouTube videos in full screen mode immediately.

In a way, even though this is a pretty massive change, this new update is what GoogleTV aspired to be from the beginning, but failed to fully materialize. Overall, the changes are welcome and truly enhance the user experience for the fledgling product. We have included a couple of video demos for you to watch while you anxiously await your turn in the update Que this weekend.

Source: via GoogleTV.blogspot and Gigaom
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