The reception of Google TV was, from a financial standpoint, disastrous. At the time of its release date, in Oct. 2010, multimedia centers were far from the talk of the town, and most consumers were reluctant to pay the premium for added functionality to their TV—a function that was already available on their computers.
How quickly times change. With the massive success of tablet computers and other mobile devices, consumers are becoming more interested in integrating all of the media they consume on one device. That prompted Google to revamp Google TV rather than trashing the project. Now, Google TV will run Android 3.0.
There are several new features in the latest update of Google TV. The software simplifies the Google TV navigation, which makes it easier for the viewers to find what they want to watch and makes the web more accessible and optimizes web-based media for the television.
The new user interface of Google TV stretches across the bottom of the screen, much like an info page in a standard cable or satellite TV. From the homepage, viewers can choose an option called All Apps, which displays apps across the whole screen in the same way that Android OS devices display all installed applications.
The search feature, in true Google form, has been upgraded significantly on the new Google TV, too. From a drop-down menu at the top of the screen, one that looks freakishly similar to the Google search widget in Android OS, users can search the web or within apps, such as one called TV & Movies.
If the user chooses to search in the TV & Movies app, Google TV will show the user where they can watch the video at that moment including Netflix, Amazon.com rentals, Youtube or and other sites that can be input in the TV & Movies app.
There's also better browsing functionality, for times that viewers aren't quite sure what they'd like to watch. In this instance, Google TV will display sections within Live TV (such as comedy, drama, etc.) or in saved movies or streaming content.
Google TV also allows users to opt-in and provide Google with information about their viewing habits. In return, Google TV will suggest shows based on what they've previously watched and how they've rated videos.
Google TV's primary goal is to help television viewers navigate the overabundance of sources they are now able to watch videos from. The most obvious is cable television, but, in addition to that, now TV viewers can watch videos from sources like Netflix, Hulu and network TV websites. Google TV condenses all of these platforms into one, easy-to-navigate format.
Several apps from the Android Market will be available on Google TV such as Twitter, Pandora and Youtube. It's unclear how these applications will differ from applications made for Android OS that run on mobile phones and tablets.
There's no specific form of monetization for Google TV at this point. The goals seems to be to spread the OS, which is a model that Google has take for many of their products. Even Android OS is still free to use as a mobile operating system, as opposed to Apple iOS, which chargers telecom companies just to sell the phone.
As noted in a previous article, the TV industry is being eyed by several companies including Apple. The hurdles that exists for these tech companies include the reluctant TV corporations, who make huge profit margins on the advertising time they sell over their airwaves. Whether round 2 of Google TV makes an impact remains to be seen, but Google TV's integration with Android OS seems interesting enough. It's one closer step to complete integration between all Google products.