Well after the false start yesterday we finally have confirmation that the Honeycomb (Android 3.1 to be exact) update for Google TV will start rolling out first to Sony devices next week and then to Logitech devices “soon thereafter.”
So just what is the update bringing? Well, Google laid out in their blog post the four major goals they had in mind with this update in response to all of the user feedback they have received since the launch of Google TV.
The number one user concern, which will probably come as no surprise to anyone that currently owns a Google TV, was that it was simply too complicated. With the Honeycomb update Google streamlined the interface and made it much easier to navigate.
The second piece of the puzzle was “what are you going to watch?” And while Google does claim that the search functionality is greatly improved they also recognized that we aren’t always exactly sure what it is that we want to watch. In response to that they created a “TV & Movies” app that lets you browse through all of the content available to you using a variety of filters to winnow down to whatever you are in the mood for.
YouTube was a big part of the initial pitch for Google TV and it continues to be one of the biggest priorities for Google. The app has been redone specifically for Google TV to let you get to the highest quality content on YouTube and it’s also better integrated into the updated search functionality.
Beyond the new apps that Google has added with the update we also have one of the biggest additions in my mind, which is the introduction of the Android Market to Google TV. The Google TV version of the Market won’t contain everything from the traditional Android Market at the outset, but so far 50 developers have worked with Google to populate it and it looks like it’s a pretty reasonable mix of games, news, music, TV networks and more traditional apps like Twitter. All developers are of course welcome to port their existing apps once they tweak them for the new interface.
So existing Google TV owners, are you satisfied with what you are seeing with this update? Is there anything else you would have liked to see Google address? If you don’t have a Google TV is this update making you consider picking one up?