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Google TV Android 3.1 update adds apps and a new interface

Google has finally released an update for Google TV, Android 3.1, which brings an entirely new interface and access to Android Market for downloading apps. It hasn't solved Google TV's core content-access problems, but it does add a lot of new functionality.

  • Sean Hollister

    Jun 30, 2012

    Sean Hollister

    Vizio Co-Star hands-on: take a chance on Google TV at $99?

    Gallery Photo: Vizio Co-Star at Google I/O 2012
    Gallery Photo: Vizio Co-Star at Google I/O 2012

    We showed you Vizio's tiny $99 Google TV and feature-heavy remote control back at CES, but it wasn't quite ready for primetime: here, at Google I/O in San Francisco, we sat down with Vizio CTO Matt McRae to discuss the impending July launch, and got our first real look at the Vizio Co-Star's UI.

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  • Dieter Bohn

    Nov 18, 2011

    Dieter Bohn

    Google TV gets new Google Music app

    Google Music Google TV 1600
    Google Music Google TV 1600

    One day after announcing Google Music, the company is rolling out a fresh new Google Music app for Google TV. The app streams music directly from your library stored in the cloud and integrates deeply enough into the Google TV system to play in the background and allow you to set up a playlist to serve as a soundtrack to a photo slideshow. Google has promised "future updates" to the music app as well.

    Google Music is available now via the Android Market on Google TV, assuming you've installed the Android 3.1 update that brought apps to the platform and signed up for the service on your computer. The app helps Google TV compete with the just released iTunes Match service now available on Apple TV, but obviously we will have to wait and see if this feature-parity checkbox is going to be enough to get Logitech to get off the sidelines for future Google TV products.

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  • Dieter Bohn

    Nov 11, 2011

    Dieter Bohn

    Logitech CEO: Google TV 'cost us dearly,' no Revue replacement coming

    Logitech review
    Logitech review

    De Luca suggested that Google TV was far from ready at launch, going so far as to call it "beta" software on one presentation slide, and that the company made a massive misstep by believing that it would revolutionize television right out of the gate. In short, Logitech "executed a full scale launch with a beta product and it cost us dearly." He added more color about Logitech's failure to read the television market in his remarks:

    The mistake, plus "operational miscues in EMEA" cost the company "well over $100M in operating profits." De Luca did throw Google a bone by saying that he believes Google TV will have a chance sometime in the future, but it would be a "grandchild of Google TV" that would do it. Logitech clearly has no plans to help make that happen, opting instead to sit "on the bench" (as De Luca had put it in an earlier call)  until Google can find success.

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  • Nov 3, 2011

    Vlad Savov

    Plex arrives on Google TV in app form

    Plex
    Plex

    Plex, the popular media streaming client that already had an Android app, is among the first pieces of third party software available for Google TV. It was only a couple of days ago that Google flipped the switch on the Android 3.1 update that enabled apps on its connected TV software, yet the Google TV Plex app is already available thanks to some advance work behind the scenes. Almost all the Plex functionality you know and love is available, whether you want to stream media from your PC or Mac through your local network or remotely. That includes support for the newly introduced myPlex, whose main attraction is a universal media queue that will remember where you stopped watching on one Plex client and resume from that point on another. Use of the remote control is disabled, at least for now, and there a couple of other minor caveats you'll find in the source link below, but otherwise it's the full Plex experience on your Google TV. A few more apps like this and Google's maligned TV offering might just find itself a fresh breath of life.

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  • Dieter Bohn

    Oct 29, 2011

    Dieter Bohn

    Sony's Google TVs getting Android 3.1 update next week

    google tv market
    google tv market

    The update should apply to both Sony Internet TV with Google TV devices as well as Sony Blu-ray players with Google TV. It doesn't appear that Sony is making any effort to add more access to content as a differentiator, but perhaps its assuming those rumors of new YouTube content deals combined with Google TV's updated YouTube app will go a long way towards fixing that particular problem.

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  • Nilay Patel

    Oct 28, 2011

    Nilay Patel

    Google TV updated to Android 3.1, adds apps and Market

    google tv android market
    google tv android 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.

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  • David Pierce

    Oct 27, 2011

    David Pierce

    Updated Logitech Revue leaks, with Honeycomb and apps (update)

    New Logitech Revue
    New Logitech Revue

    We heard earlier this month than a new version of Google TV would be launching this fall, with Honeycomb and apps coming to the TV-based OS — now it looks like the update is imminent. Engadget posted a photo of a "New and Improved" Logitech Revue, with Android 3.1 and the Android Market inside. Details are sparse, and though Engadget says the device is on the sales floor of a "major electronics retailer," there's been no official word from Logitech or Google about the update coming. The packaging looks slightly different, particularly the burrito-looking object with the sparks coming out of it, so it's hard to tell if this is new hardware or just new software in the same box. There's also a conspicuous absence of Ice Cream Sandwich, but we're not surprised given how long the Revue was stuck without Honeycomb. Regardless, this update is what Google TV owners and manufacturers have been waiting for, and it looks like it's almost here.

    Update: Unfortunately, these are just stickers, and not updated Logitech Revues — the company told Engadget that the boxes were "prematurely updated with the stickers in anticipation of the next release," which will be automatically sent "to all Logitech Revue boxes that are installed and connected to the internet." You won't have to buy a new one.

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  • Ross Miller

    May 10, 2011

    Ross Miller

    Google TV getting Android 3.1 Honeycomb, Android Market

    Google TV is getting a huge bump, with Android 3.1 and Android Market coming to a TV near you. Developers will be able to use one SDK and ship apps that work both on Honeycomb tablets and on Google TV devices. Google also hinted at new hardware from Samsung and Vizio (which we were getting wind of at CES), but there weren't many details there. Existing Google TV devices will be getting 3.1 as an OTA update, and all this goodness should launch this summer.

    Developing. Stay tuned to our Google I/O 2011 liveblog for up-to-the-microsecond coverage.

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