A Google TV sandbox has been released as of Tuesday, giving developers the chance to write, test, and convert apps for Google's increasingly promising Internet television platform.

Today, we’re announcing a preview of the Google TV Add-on for the Android SDK, wrote Ambarish Kenghe, Google TV Product Manager, on the Official Google TV Blog. With the upcoming OS update to Honeycomb, Google TV devices will be Android compatible. That means developers can build great new Android apps for TV, optimize existing mobile or tablet apps for TV, and distribute those apps through Android Market.

Kenghe cautions that apps built for Android OS tablets, smartphones, and Google TV are not intrinsically compatible, and also that developers won't have access to every option and feature available on Google TV. Nevertheless, this is expected to add considerable interest and flexibility to a product that has yet to make much of an impression on consumers.

These are still early days for Google TV, admits Kenghe.

Other major tech companies have been exploring Internet television options, each with very limited success. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, while famously referring to Apple TV as a hobby, nevertheless continues to develop and further the potential of his company's Internet TV project. Microsoft and Amazon have also attempted to bring a pay-TV service to market, and the FCC itself has been working with tech companies to establish a standard for television delivered over broadband networks.

The main obstacles are the same in each case: the desire by many television viewers to have as 'passive' an experience as possible, and the desire by most content and cable providers to exclude Internet delivery as an option.

 While the first issue can be dealt with by streamlining the interface for a better user experience, the second issue is complex; critics observe that cable providers enjoy a lucrative and powerful monopoly in their area, and neither they nor the content providers have been able to deploy a dependable revenue source (i. e., subscription and advertising models that will hold up under competition).

When Google announced its proposal to acquire Motorola Mobility, many analysts quickly realized that this could be a golden opportunity for the company to jump-start Google TV, given Motorola's position as a major provider of set-top boxes. Google TV stands to gain both the hardware that has been largely lacking (Logitech's Revue notwithstanding) and the ability to smooth out a tense and sometimes adversarial relationship with content and cable providers over Internet-based television systems.

And Ars Technica makes the interesting point that Android's recently added support for game controllers and other similar input devices could make Google TV hardware serve as a casual gaming console.

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Christina-Domecq is a motivational speaker and is transforming lives through clear and effective communication.