Google just pushed out another update for its Internet TV platform. The focus with this upgrade is mainly on the user experience, but arguably this goes to show that Google is missing the point.
What the Google TV platform needs is more functionality and reasons that can justify buying the products that support this system from the likes of Sony and soon LG, among others.
One way that Google could go about this quite directly would be developing more apps optimized specifically for this platform.
Google finally realized the potential for Google TV apps when it opened up a new branch of the Android Market for this field last summer. Since then, there have been a few additions (notably Google Music).
But for the most part, the library for exclusive Google TV apps is still lacking as it only has several dozen apps available -- compared to the hundreds of thousands available in the Android Market for mobile devices overall.
So has the response from consumers. According to new research from app search company Xyologic, only 352,000 Google TV exclusive Android apps have been downloaded so far.
In contrast, Samsung TV apps were nearing 10 million downloads last fall.
Xyologic researchers also pointed out towards poor user experiences for the few existing apps:
In contrast to that, the low user ratings we see in Google TV exclusive apps seem to confirm an underwhelming experience for users. Most apps, particularly the pre-installed exclusive apps which have the dominant share of the install base aka have been the apps which defined the Google TV experience for most consumers, have low ratings.
One of the big hurdles for consumers when Google TV was first introduced was the exorbitant price tag for buying one of these screens. The prices have been slashed considerably, but perhaps not enough.
However, with additional functionality and purposes (many of which can come about with the development of more useful, optimized apps), consumers finally might be willing to shell out extra cash for this platform.
If not, then Google TV is all but a lost cause.