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Google TV Take Two Launches Next Week with Streamlined Interface, Android Apps

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Back in May 2010, Google announced plans to launch "Google TV", a software offering available either in a set-top box or built into TV sets and designed to integrate television with the Web. Google TV officially launched in October of that year, but has so far failed to catch on with consumers.




Addressing the platform's shortcomings, Google today announced that early next week it will launch a major software update intended to significantly improve the functionality of the Google TV software. Among the most notable improvements are a streamlined interface with improved searching capabilities and compatibility with apps through the Android Market.
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.

...

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.
The update will be rolling out to Sony devices early next week, with Logitech's set-top boxes set to receive the update shortly after.




Google's movements in the television space have been closely watched by Apple observers, in part due to Apple's own efforts in the market with the Apple TV, which was relaunched late last year as a set-top box for streaming content. Apple has also been said to be working on its own connected television set, with the most recent report arriving yesterday and indicating that Apple is seeking to launch a Siri-enabled TV by 2013.

Article Link: Google TV Take Two Launches Next Week with Streamlined Interface, Android Apps
 

rosalindavenue

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
847
266
Virginia, USA
Apple needs to IMMEDIATELY match this with a "Classy Fireplace" app for apple TV.

Outside of Netflix can you buy or rent TV and movies on a google TV yet?

(I googled-- looks like Amazon on demand is available, and the Google Market has some movies but I dont see that they are high res enough for TV-- they seem to be for phones and tablets).
 
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herbalizer

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2005
48
2
Kirkland, WA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

Sweet, another stupid Google product. Can't wait.
 
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DustinT

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2011
1,556
0
Maybe this will motivate Apple to advance the Apple TV lineup again.
 
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drewtje

macrumors newbie
Sep 23, 2011
20
0
wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.
 
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G4DP

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
1,451
3
wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.

I didn't realise you could by television sets with an Apple TV built in. Could you enlighten me as to when this change happened?
 
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d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,318
356
Torrance, CA
Not sure this is another Stupid Product with "We are opening up the TV to the creativity of content creators large and small through Android Market". Anyway, I will probably not buy it but the AppleTV needs to have an App Store for the ATV. With an App store we could get a Hulu Plus App and maybe a Sling Box App. I know we can use Air Play Mirror but it is really too slow when you are not close to the router and it should not be necessary for these data intensive Apps (channels?). Also, more and more TV and Movie Studios are offering Apps like HBO Go and MAX Go and more. They should be native on the Apple TV. If the new Google TV gets all of these and can somehow create a simple interface like the ATV and ATV sets on there hands then maybe I would consider it.
 
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Drumjim85

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2007
2,601
224
DFW, TX
wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.

It's not a rip off, it's a completely different style of device. Your whole TV setup goes through your google TV device (at least with my logitech one). The interface is at the heart of everything you do. If you search for the Simpsons, it will search your DVR recordings, up coming live episodes, you tube, and so on.
It's a shame the devices and interfaces suck so much it's not worth using. Hopefully this update will help.
 
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freediverdude

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2006
573
0
Umm....I'm sorry, I thought this Google TV thing was dead? Didn't they start heavily discounting the units earlier this year to basically get rid of them? I think I am confused here...
 
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herbalizer

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2005
48
2
Kirkland, WA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

How about Google hires some people to make Android less butt ugly? Worry about TV products after you figure out how to not suck at what you already do.
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
someone tell me the point of constantly searching like an ADHD kid on ritalin while watching TV
 
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contempt

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2003
75
1
Brooklyn
So I have one of the Logitech Revues (got it for free when they launched!) and have been using it as my primary TV interface. FYI, I used to have an Xbox with XBMC running, Boxee as well as an AppleTV. The reason I like GoogleTV is that I don't need to switch inputs on my TV since it's all feeding through the unit (compared to changing inputs from Cable to AppleTV). This was a huge differentiator for me.

Plus, GoogleTV has native DLNA support so my entire media library on my NAS is immediately available to stream movies. So on my Mac, I could copy a file onto my NAS, hit refresh on GoogleTV and then be watching it. It works well.

Anyway, would I have spent money on the hardware if I didn't get it for free? No Way. Only if it was $79. If not, I would probably be using a Roku box now.

But I can't wait for this update. They might have actually gotten it right. All I'm hoping for is Amazon OnDemand as an app versus the website which is currently on GoogleTV. The Netflix interface really sucks (compared to AppleTV) so hopefully they vised that too. Anyway, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. There are some pluses and hopefully the update brings more.
 
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citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
Maybe this will motivate Apple to advance the Apple TV lineup again.

it's really not that complicated. AppleTV is damn near perfect and pretty much does all the things that google tv can. All they have to do to compete (if they consider it a competition) open up the :apple:TV with apps, if space is a concern, make them cloud based so you can have an unlimited amount of apps (not games per se) available on "demand". Second, come out with a 1080p version.

----------

For all 1000 [estimated] customers?

Market speak: Core Audience
 
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bretm

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2002
1,951
27
So these screen shots and the description of this thing is really absolutely no different than my 2 year old Vizio with internet Apps. I'm sure the interface is a little better, but I've got netflix, hulu plus, Facebook (my remote even has a slide out keypad and is bluetooth), photo sharing apps, Amazon, Vudu, Weather, TVGuide, etc. Other than it being Android based, which will allow Android devs to adjust their apps and open them to a new market, this is just another TV Set.

And this is precisely what Jobs was trying to "crack." Apple could slap their name and interface on a TV and make a lot of tiny margins just like Sony, Google, or Vizio will. Or Apple will have to come out with something great. We know the interface will be well designed. We know it will integrate with our computers and the cloud. But hell, the Google's and Vizios already do that in some form or another. I honestly don't think the average consumer knows the difference. They know TVs. They want to get movies. They want to watch shows. They want to RECORD shows. Apple will need to replace TiVo too BTW. That seems easy to me. TiVo it to the cloud.

I personally think the Siri would be nice, but TV in itself creates a problem for Siri with it being loud sound in the background. But the simple killer app for me is just putting a cheap camera in the thing and having Skype and iChat / FaceTime. Maybe the camera could actually be adjustable too. Right now we're al skyping on a laptop at Christmas. Why not a 53" TV? With the TV in a PNP window?
 
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AriX

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2007
349
0
The typography in that Android Market is a direct clone of the App Store. Also, really Google? Couldn't come up with a more original name than "Take Two"? Anyone remember this?
 
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topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,311
485
FEMA Region VIII
Google needs to have Sony and Logitech scale down the hardware to something the size of a hockey puck, streamline the remote control and sell it for $99.

Hopefully this update will make the GoogleTV integrated Sony TV's that (a few) folks paid a pretty penny for something more than a boat anchor.
 
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mox358

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2002
471
153
Indiana
Hopefully this move by Google will prompt Apple to add Apps to the Apple TV. Wouldn't it make sense to get apps launched... get some built up, get the SDK out there and gain some momentum so when the grand Apple Television launches in 2012 or 2013 there is already an established App Store in place, instead of starting from scratch?

I'm sure the actual Apple Television will have all sorts of upgrades over the current ATV, but wouldn't it be similar to how devs update their apps now when going from iOS 4 -> iOS5? Update some code and be in the Apple Television app store on launch day.
 
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MonkeySee....

macrumors 68040
Sep 24, 2010
3,858
435
UK
Despite how good this product is, their marketing team is probably the worst in the world.

Unless you specifically seek this product out you wont hear about it.

----------

The typography in that Android Market is a direct clone of the App Store. Also, really Google? Couldn't come up with a more original name than "Take Two"? Anyone remember this?

is does sound like they're saying "yeah, we ****ed this up the first time"
 
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MacAddict1978

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2006
1,144
319
wt* What a rip-off of Apple TV..


Every time when Apple brings something news... than other companies MUST follow -.-.-.-.

Um, the Apple TV was hardly the first device of its kind. The original ATV basically just put your iTunes content onto your TV via a hard drive. About a dozen other companies had already done this first.

ATV2 was a streaming box more for iTunes but added Netflix, YouTube, and slowly other channels.... however, game consoles, Roku, and others were first to market with this kind of device. Apple just put their own spin on it.

ATV 1&2 had the best interfaces and ease of use, IMO, but they were stripped bare of content compared to competitors and media formats. (Lots of people hacked their ATV1's with Boxee or Plex as a work around.)

The Google TV in concept was an awesome device. It combined the features of all the streaming boxes, added an old school "web TV" option, and some other features. It was crippled because networks blocked Google TV's broswer from accessing their sites, right down to Hulu. So you could search, but not watch. It didn't play well with DVRs or work as one.

Still, Google did EXACTLY what Apple did, and took an existing product and improved on it.

If you really wanted to get technical about it, Microsuck probably deserves some cred for starting the trend with Windows Media Center and the Xbox 360 as a later means before anyone else. (And it pains me to consider Microsoft innovated a new concept. Please someone tell me I'm wrong and who to properly credit.)

So if there is a negative about this story, it is that interface refresh doesn't fix the CONTENT issue that killed version 1 of the Google TV. You are still blocked from the majority of content on the web.

Now an App store is a nice addition, providing anything useful ends up in there.

I hope Apple finally releases something similar for the ATV.
 
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NAG

macrumors 68030
Aug 6, 2003
2,821
0
/usr/local/apps/nag
And yet, I bet it will still ship with a remote control with hundreds of buttons on it and the networks will all still prevent streaming of content to it.
 
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ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Why is it based on Honeycomb? I have a sneaking suspicion it's to keep the source code under wraps.

Poor show Google.
 
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aelalfy

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2010
563
0
Berlin, Germany
I personally think the Siri would be nice, but TV in itself creates a problem for Siri with it being loud sound in the background. But the simple killer app for me is just putting a cheap camera in the thing and having Skype and iChat / FaceTime. Maybe the camera could actually be adjustable too. Right now we're al skyping on a laptop at Christmas. Why not a 53" TV? With the TV in a PNP window?

You read that article about 30 rock and the joke they pulled with voice activated tv's. The background sound is a really big concern for voice enabled devices; except from my understanding siri already learns your voice and pronunciation. So telling it to only accept commands with your voice already solves that issue. Now regarding unwanted commands or unintended ones, i'm sure apple will require an initiation like it does on the iPhone 4S (press and hold home button).

Just wanted to address this once and for all for those regarding articles written by people who just want to find something to write about.

Thanks
AE
 
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