It seems that Google has decided not to give up on Google TV. The company is pushing out a software update for the service that addresses a good portion of customer complaints about the interface and searching capabilities. The update will also bridge the gap between Google TV and the Android Marketplace, allowing many apps to work on your TV.
When Google TV originally debuted last year, it got a rather luke warm reception. The concept of the service was wonderful, providing a bridge between things provided by your TV content providers as well as streaming services, but the execution left many things to be desired. Chief among complaints was an interface which took up far too much screen space and was overly complex. Google TV 2.0 addresses that issue by providing a much cleaner and simpler interface.
Searching has also been vastly improved, giving users way more information about specific items they are searching for. Searching for a TV show will provide information about when that show will come on next. Additionally, Google has added a new search area specific to TV and Movies. This portal allows a user to display narrow results for full episodes of TV shows or movies only. That is a big help in finding the episode or movie you want to watch among all of the cable and streaming providers that exist right now, such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube.
One of the most exciting features about this update is the inclusion of apps. Google has leveraged the Honeycomb version of Android for Google TV 2.0 and, most importantly, has provided integration with the Android Marketplace. That means developers can release apps optimized for TV viewing directly through the normal Marketplace channels. Google noted that about 20 TV optimized apps will be available when 2.0 is launched and they are hoping to see more developers jump on this to grow that catalog.
If Google can entice developers to create apps optimized for TV viewing, Google TV could stand a chance against the likes of Roku, Boxee, or Apple TV. This 2.0 update will roll out to the Sony NSZ-GT1 and Sony NSX-GT1 series of TVs on October 30th, with the Logitech Revue to follow “shortly afterwards.” Google has also said there will be more devices that support Google TV coming in 2012, although nothing specific has been announced yet.
Let us know what you think of Google TV and this update in the comments.