We were waiting for it, after so much gossip… finally, Google TV has been announced. And it rocks. Let´s review all the confirmed information:
Google TV is far superior to Apple´s approach (do you remember Apple TV?), which was a kind of TV add-on or supplement. Google bets for a complete renewal of the television concept, which becomes an interactive service where you can search for plays and movies, search over the web, run your favorite apps, or even videochat… all from a fundamental place on people´s lives: your coach.
There are some big players with Google to bring up this new era. Sony is the one building up the TV itself, Logitech will build up set-top-boxes (called Companion Box) to adapt traditional HDTVs to full-featured Google TVs, and will also provide the remote controllers; and Intel will provide its Atom processors to fuel up all with the necessary power.
There are four proposed milestones:
- TODAY: Google wants us to start optimizing web sites NOW. A Google TV website development guide has been published, mainly an open call to designers and developers to start opening our minds as this new channel has never existed before.
- 2010 FALL SEASON: Launch of Sony TVs and Blu-Ray player as well as Logitech´s Companion Box. Most probably Google TV will be limited to US users at this time.
- EARLY 2011: Launch of Android Market, Google TV SDK and TV Web API.
- SUMMER 2011: All the project will be published as open source !
Logitech´s Companion Box
In my opinion, Remote Controllers are one of the key challenges for Google TV. Technology is mature enough on other aspects of the project to take the leap, but interacting with TVs with a practical control, that´s another story and I would dare to say it could determine the massive adoption on “non-geek” homes. Nintendo Wii controllers were probably the only innovation in this field over the years, but are not at all suitable for the task Google TV proposes.
Logitech is the ally selected by Google, and their proposal, if still not unveiled, mixes a compact keyboard, a remote control and a touchpad. There will be an Android app to use Android smartphones as remote controllers, and Logitech blog also suggest a variety of controllers as shows this image, including a video camera for video-chatting.
THE BEST: ANDROID ON YOUR TV
The best of it all is that Android will not be only in your pocket, but in your living room. Google TV technology is built upon Android. We as Android developers can´t wait to embrace this new concept of applications over 40 inch screens . There is a Chrome browser too, running on top of Android, to navigate the web and play webapps.
Google TV will come with Netflix, Youtube and Hulu pre-installed, but any Android app not needing phone capabilities should work, in fact Google demoed the actual Pandora mobile app published on Android Market.
We had high expectations on this year´s Google I/O developer conference, but all have been surpassed. Still analyzing how Android 2.2 has raised the bar for Apple (which worths a separated post) , and now Google TV is coming. And will come to stay. I really believe this is the beginning of a new era. And Sevenclick is in.