The two keynotes might be over, but Google I/O is still ongoing and bringing us some extra Android goodies. At the “Building Android Apps for Google TV” session, Google just gave us a sneak peek at the next version of Google TV.
This new version of Google TV will be based on Honeycomb and should arrive later this summer — also known as the next couple of months. The update will borrow many things from Honeycomb, including the user interface, widgets, and notifications. Users will also get the Android Market, and developers will get a Google TV emulator, a new SDK, and the ability to test their apps on Google TV devices.
The Honeycomb update will also bring a brand new graphics engine which should allow for some eye-catching 3D effects and smoother performance. Some extra features include support for USB devices like game controllers and keyboards, which could brings us one step closer to playing Blockbuster video games on our Google TV.
To allow developers to start building Google TV apps as soon as possible, Google announced the Fishtank Program. They’ll let some developers take home a Google TV test unit, so they can start testing their apps right now. The company also open sourced the Google TV Remote app, with the goal of showing developers how to build Android apps that can communicate with Google TV.
We’re really excited about this new version of Google TV, especially knowing that it’s coming really soon. Google seems to be targeting those areas where Google TV needs the most improvements — like UI and performance. This update should give the platform the boost it needs to get back in the game — at least until Ice Cream Sandwich arrives this fall. Keep an eye out for a Google TV announcement out of Mountain View coming in the next several weeks.