Google TV

What Microsoft’s Xbox 360 TV announcement means to Google TV

Today Microsoft announced they've partnered with tons of media and entertainment leaders all across the world to bring a better experience to TV's and Xbox Live. After reading through all of the announcements and providers they have come to terms with I quickly found myself wondering how this will effect Google TV -- with and without Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich. If set-tops like the Revue weren't already facing an uphill fight, it just got even steeper.

Logitech Revue gets another Honeycomb leak, Apps now showing in Android Market

Well folks, it looks like we are now seeing a second leak of Android Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue. From watching the video leaked along with it you can clearly see things are moving along quite nicely and it appears much closer to release than the last. If this doesn't make you want to run out and buy one for $99 I don't know what will -- except for maybe Ice Cream Sandwich.

Unofficial Honeycomb OS available for Logitech Revue, assuming you are brave

The Logitech Revue Android set-top box has been around for a long time now. Recently the Revue price was cut to $99 to improve sales. I was excited about the thing when it was first announced with support for Hulu streaming and lots more. Once the Revue landed and I tried it out, I found it lacking and more than a little boring. I was disappointed for sure. Many have been waiting around for the next update to come to the Revue for the Android OS.

Logitech Revue Now Just $99

In a recent earnings call by Logitech they announced that the Revue wasn't selling so hot and it would be getting a steep price drop. Today that has finally happened and now you can get the highly functional device for only $99. It originally launched for $299 at places like Best Buy so this is a pretty huge discount.

Google TV 2.0 “Fishtank” program leaks

Details of the Google TV "Fishtank" program, giving developers early access to version 2.0 of the smart TV software, have emerged. According to Geek's sources, less than 50 developers were invited to take an early glimpse at the platform, ahead of the Google TV 2.0 SDK being ready for primetime. Google apparently sends participants an Intel CE4100 reference platform - the same chipset as found inside the Logitech Revue and other first-gen Google TV hardware - running a copy of Android 3.1 heavily modified for Fishtank use. The OS is stripped down and has a new UI, partially familiar from Google TV as we've already seen it, with a clock app and a Live TV app that shows content from the HDMI input. Unfortunately, that Live TV functionality is already the source of arguments between Google and developers. According to the Fishtank program source, many of the developers involved gained invites based on their ideas for Live TV related apps, dressing up real-time content with information pulled from online. However, Google has decided that when Live TV doesn't hold the focus, developers won't be able to access it:
"We’re told many of the developers earned there way into the program with ideas that directly involved this feature–specifically, the ability to overlay data on top of Live TV or to place Live TV in a smaller window while information is displayed. So far, Google has stated that while they would consider the feature, there are no plans at this point to make it available at the API level, which has upset a number of the developers, forcing some to scrap their original project entirely." Geek
Still, there's plenty of time for Google to change all that. The updated version of Google TV - running on Ice Cream Sandwich, we're led to believe - is expected to be released later in 2011. [gallery]

Android 2.2 Coming to a TV Near China!

No, this isn't Google TV. This is the work of Chinese video-tech company Geniatech. Their Android TV box runs 2.2 (FroYo) and... well it does a lot of what Google TV does, or will do at least once Google starts rolling out Honeycomb 3.1 to Google TV later this summer. In the mean time though Geniatech seems to promising a lot out of this device, even if its just promising what Google TV is promising. But hey, that's the beauty of open source.

Amazon cooking “family of devices” not just one Android tablet?

Amazon is tipped to have a "family of devices" using the Android OS in the pipeline for a holiday 2011 release, according to the latest leaks, potentially spanning not only various sizes of tablets but smartphones and/or set-top boxes (STB). According to Android and Me's sources, Amazon has been working closely with Google on the new range, potentially using Android Ice Cream Sandwich with a heavily customized interface developed by a specialist in embedded systems. Exact hardware specifications are unclear at this stage, including form-factors, processors and screen sizes/types. Amazon has been tipped to be looking at Pixel Qi and color E Ink panels, though CEO Jeff Bezos has recently said that he believes color E Ink to be "not ready for prime time." Instead, he thinks "it makes a lot of sense for there to be a low-power, reflective color display. I think that’s something you could build a fantastic product around." That could suggest Qualcomm's mirasol; the company recently showed a prototype ereader/tablet with a front-illuminated mirasol display, promising it would show up in hardware from fall 2011. WiFi and 3G options as with Kindle seem likely, along with competitive prices as Amazon pushes its "family" against other tablets and STBs it ranges. Bezos recently told press to "stay tuned" for more information on the infamous tablet plans. [via SlashGear]

Google TV User Experience Lead job wants TV app Tsar

Google is looking to recruit a new User Experience Lead for Google TV, who would take responsibility for guiding third-party software onto the Android-based STBs. Based at Mountain View, the new employee would be "asked to pioneer new possibilities for web-based and Android application experiences on the platform and establish the patterns and standards used to develop great interactive experiences on Google TV." The absence of apps has been a thorn in Google TV's side since the first products were released, limiting functionality to the preloaded software and whatever could be accessed online. Back in March, a Logitech exec suggested that the Android Market would be arriving "soon" though Google itself has given no public timescale beyond sometime in 2011. Google is believed to be looking to integrate the Google TV codebase with the Gingerbread codebase for phones and the Honeycomb codebase for tablets, into a single AOSP that would allow them to be significantly more nimble with overall updates. That is expected to be the basis of Ice Cream, the next Android release. [via SlashGear]
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