While far from the highlight of Google's I/O conference keynote yesterday, new Google TV features were announced to help the struggling platform get a second wind. But will they be enough to finally get consumers interested?
In most instances, Google was officially confirming what was already known: Google TV will receive access to Android 3.1 (a.k.a. Honeycomb) this summer -- for existing devices, it will be an over-the-air update -- and new Google TV products will be coming from Logitech, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio. It will also get access to the Android Market in the next few months, and developers will get a Honeycomb-based SDK to start building Google TV-specific apps.
Gizmodo mentions some interesting possibilities for those apps, like ones that use both your Android phone or tablet and Google TV together. The dual announcement of YouTube movie rentals and a similar service available through the Android Market also means these services will be coming to Google TV, hopefully with the ability to start watching a video on one Android device and then continue viewing it on another.
With a new UI and perhaps a shot-in-the-arm for app development, Google TV will soon address its first iteration's failings. It could still use cheaper devices -- even Logitech's price cut on the Revue set-top box doesn't get it close to Apple TV or Roku pricing -- but at least the actual user experience should be more in line with the competition.
Does Google TV deserve a second look? If not, what else needs to be done to improve it? Let us know in the Comments section.