While it's not a ringing endorsement for Google TV as an app platform, the new app from The Guardian is a small sign that there's still hope for what has been a pretty stale ecosystem. The new app utilizes basic HTML5 for its building blocks, and the relative ease of developing an app for Chrome is one of the reasons that The Guardian's developer, Dan Catt, chose the platform. Catt writes that in this case, it was "better to wade right in and knock out a prototype" because Google TV is easy to develop for and is a relatively low-profile platform: "not many people are watching." That second part might be damning by faint praise when it comes to Google TV's chances in the market, but regardless it did provide a way for Catt to put together a beta that feels relatively full-featured even at this early stage. Currently, it provides access to articles, videos, and image galleries, and more.
The plan for the app is to iterate and test on Google TV for awhile until there's a "'stable' prototype" which will form the basis of more Guardian apps on other smart TV platforms — including perhaps the Xbox and PS3. In the meantime, the organization is actively looking for beta testers to try it out and give feedback so they can iterate on the design. To load it up on a Google TV, simply visit http://gtv.guardiannews.com/. That same URL also works on Chrome on a PC, by the way, but it's a bit buggy and The Guardian doesn't pretend it should be otherwise.