Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

Summary: 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?

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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.

Topics: Google, Hardware, Mobility

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  • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

    Google needs to address the content blocking problem and add gaming with the PlayStation. However, I don't know who would want to do business with Sony after the data breach. The price is still too high.
    nealcg
  • Yes It Will!!!

    Hell yeah it will be enough!

    Did you notice in the Developer Notes they Added Bluetooth Controller Support and Sony said they will be releasing the PS one and PS2 Framework for Android this Summer!

    I have a feeling that Google TV is about to become an all in one entertainment device without physical Media! They clearly are attacking the competitions short comings.
    slickjim
    • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

      @Peter Perry
      You know Apple is coming out with HDTV's? that's how they stay ahead... then google will copy them and release their own tv in a few years.
      Hasam1991
      • Apple's HDTV

        @Hasam1991
        And Google will improve on the Apple HDTV's shortcomings and lack of features and provide a superior device...while Apple changes little to answer the competition and leaves consumers wondering why they haven't added certain features...but a small group of folks will claim the Apple HDTV is vastly superior, even though it doesn't come with a port for cable/satellite tv, no 1080p support, no DVI or HDMI ports and a remote with only one button...but it will hava nice shiny case, and give you access to four stations (none of which are porn)...all owned and operated by Apple...because Apple has decided what you should be watching. And the fanboys will applaud and get in line a week in advance to get it.
        Xander_Crews
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        @Hasam1991

        I think that you have it backwards. Google already has a hdtv out. It's the Sony NSX series such as the Sony NSX-46GT1. Granted it's not marketed as a Google tv but it includes their product which is essentially what Apple is looking to do.
        firemedic@...
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        @Hasam1991 The TV Is irrelevant and this device gives companies like Ms and Sony problems more than Apple. You see, Apple had some success with T V but not enough.
        slickjim
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        Another hurt Apple Fan Boi. Watch out boi Android is going to chomp on some apples......lol
        mrlbattle@...
      • Apple will fail in TV Land (again)

        @Hasam1991

        Apple has given up on this. They are already draining their iSheep out of money left and right on the iPhone and iPad. There's only one Apple and it can't be everything and do all. There are more manufacturers of electronic devices than Apple and all of them want to compete, with each other and with Apple. The future is Android.
        YeomanDroid
  • It is getting better, but, the uptake will still be slow for the time being

    It will take some time to get the UI / features right, and also get the price down. By then, Apple might have an updated product.
    DonnieBoy
  • Tell Me

    Tell me how this is different than all the apps already running on my 55 inch LCD TV from LG? I even have a web browser...

    Also what do I do with my Apple TV's? Asus Oplay and WD TV units I have laying around the house?

    I just don't see Google TV taking off...
    Hasam1991
    • I'm in agreement with you on this.

      @Hasam1991
      I don't see this taking off when you can just attach an inexpensive computer or box to your TV and get this all plus more.
      John Zern
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        @John Zern - Mom & Pop don't know how to do that John.
        klockheed
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        @John Zern
        Media PCs have been around for the better part of a decade. They're not even a blip on the radar.

        Ironically, the trojan horse for a lot of these streaming media platforms might be the Blu-ray player. All Blu-ray players using Profile 2.0 (which is nearly all of the units currently available) are required to have network connectivity, and manufacturers have been adding streaming media apps to most of these players. Media apps like Netflix, Pandora, and Vudu are already commonly found on Blu-ray players, and wi-fi is increasingly common.

        With most consumers not yet ready to abandon optical media, this is the perfect transitional tool, since most households have an optical disc player attached to their TV. As older DVD players break and get replaced, most consumers have already been replacing them with Blu-ray players (which began outselling DVD players more than a year ago). And this trend will only accelerate as manufacturers focus on Blu-ray exclusively as their optical players, and phase out standalone DVD players. This might be where Google TV can establish a beachhead (and I thought it had already been incorporated into one of Sony's Blu-ray models from last year), but even within that Blu-ray player they would be competing for attention with all of the other streaming video options.
        Woochifer
  • Picture In Picture

    I would like to see PIP, Picture In Picture - multiple video source aggregation (xbox, googleTV, cable/sat, etc).
    jarednorris@...
  • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

    With Netflix near dead and the subscription hungry choices out there why not make Blockbuster a first choice on the to do list? Blockbuster on demand is NOT sony friendly and neither is WII, PS3 or basically any thing we have in our house. Google could get a larger subscriber base for sony/google tv and I get blockbuster in my livingroom instead of my mail? Please pass that along to the Google gods:-)
    varmintkiller
    • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

      @varmintkiller -"Netflix near dead"? Don't get out much eh?
      klockheed
      • Near Dead?

        @klockheed
        No kidding. Blockbuster is the one that is near dead.
        Xander_Crews
      • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

        @klockheed

        LOL. Blockbuster was dead 3 or 4 years ago. It just won't be long until it's the new name of DishTV's streaming media service.
        Champ_Kind
  • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

    Content is king, and Google TV is currently blocked from accessing the most popular programs. All of the fancy specs and long feature checklists won't mean a thing unless Google TV has the programming choices to go along with it. They learned the hard way that content providers aren't going to simply let Google build a media platform using their programming, without paying for it.

    All of Google's major competitors in the network video space have some form of content deal worked out. And their platforms have already been deployed on millions of TVs, set-top boxes, and other media players. Google's trying to engineer its way around a problem that does not have an engineering solution.
    Woochifer
    • RE: Google TV getting update to Android 3.1, access to Android Market this summer. Will it be enough?

      @SFWooch@... I was about to say the same thing.. but you did it so much better.. I have the Revue, and while I enjoy its slick interface, and linkage to my Dish equipment, it still falls far short on content.
      dmelroy2@...