Google TV updated to Android 3.1, adds apps and Market


It's been a long while since we've heard anything about Google TV, but the platform just got its big promised upgrade to Android 3.1, complete with an overhauled UI and support for apps from Android Market. Google says the new, more realistic goal for its TV efforts is to complement traditional TV services like cable and satellite with alternative internet viewing options, and to that end the company is bundling in a new TV and Movies app that functions as an integrated program guide with the ability to aggregate content from multiple sources, including live TV, HBO Go, Netflix, and YouTube. The YouTube app itself has been updated to feature dynamic "channels" that begin playing related videos as soon as you type in a search term—think Pandora for YouTube. These content-discovery features are the main focus of this version; Google told us that the apps and Market element will take time to build into marquee features.

That said, there will be apps, which is a very interesting first. Google says TV apps will fall into a few big buckets: video-delivery apps that simply play back content, apps that enhance the experience of watching TV (although not interactively), and standard phone / tablet apps that have been redesigned to work better on a large display. Unfortunately, there's still no AirPlay-like ability to stream things from an Android phone natively to Google TV devices, and it doesn't sound like Google's gotten anywhere with the various content blocks that have bedeviled the platform from the start, so we'll see if apps and content discovery are enough to kick the platform back to life. We'll find out soon enough: the update will begin rolling out to Sony Google TV devices on Sunday, and hits the Logitech Revue sometime after that.

More from The Verge

Back to top ^
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.