Written by Michael Rohde Wednesday, 11 May 2011 08:58
I got my Logitech Revue for Google TV as a birthday present last November. Ever since, my family has used it every day. The primary use has been for Netflix, YouTube Leanback, Flixster for movie trailers, PBS Kids, starwars.com for the latest Clone Wars episodes and I like to check my email through it as the last thing I do before I go to bed. I also like to watch cnet on it, as it’s a professionally done show and extremely informative. It’s also set up in such a way that I can easily search through different segments, which is especially useful if I want to skip past all the Apple news and jump directly to the Android news; of which there has been plenty with Google I/O taking place this week in San Francisco.
The primary disappointment that I’ve had with Google TV was the failure to make apps available during the first quarter of this year. Plus, the fact that several content providers are blocking access to their programming. But this article is going to focus on Google moving forward with Google TV and the continuing promises of excellence that is surely to follow.
I caught up on some of the presentations that took place at Google I/O by watching cnet through Google TV. All of the clips were provided courtesy of YouTube. I’m sure if you searched for them on YouTube you’ll find them easy enough. What I saw and heard last night was extremely encouraging. Developers now have access to Honeycomb 3.1, which means they can start creating apps for Google TV, which is now slated to arrive this summer. I’m not holding my breath for this loose date, but my hopes remain high. So, what kind of apps could we expect for Google TV? Well, on one of the screens behind a Google presenter, I saw an AllRecipes app. That could be awesome. I can picture the convenience of looking up a new recipe and watching a video on how to prepare it while sitting in my double-wide chair and watching on the large screen. I’m sure games like Angry Birds will be one of the first game apps and I’m also sure that if there’s an app for it in Apple’s app store, it will eventually port over to Google TV. It’s going to be awesome. Speaking of games, I read this morning on Ars Technica that a Google employee demonstrated using an Xbox 360 controller to play games on Google TV. The possibilities there become endless. What if Google bought OnLive? That would eliminate the need for an OnLive device and it might even spell the doom of my beloved Xbox 360. But I’m sure we’re years away from something like that.
Last night I also watched a presentation for Android@Home. This theory is something that I’ve read about before as being the future of technology, but it sounds like Google is ready to start implementing it now. Basically, Android@Home will allow you to control any device in your home that can be connected to a wireless device. You’ll be able to control lights, heat and air conditioning, washing machines, alarms and so on so forth. You’ll also be able to integrate devices together. For example, the demo showed the lights in a home reacting to actions taking place in a game. Can you imagine playing a horror game when suddenly all the lights in the house start to flash off and on? How spooky would that be?
The last demo I want to share with you was an example of cloud music. Google demonstrated, by using their music services, that you could stream music to any room in the house all from a central device. I think that has been done before, but what I’ve never seen before was the ability to hold up the bar code from a CD label, and the device instantly recognizes the music and it starts to play. That was demonstrated as a possibility and it was not an actual working device. My only issue with that is, who buys CDs anymore? I guess it would work well for those who already have a large CD music collection.
Ultimately, for me at least, the Google I/O conference has put a shot of adrenaline into Google TV and this might be a very exciting summer.