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Google TV Android 3.1 update arrives with apps, no new boxes

updated 11:30 am EDT, Fri October 28, 2011

Google TV Android 3.1 goes live

Google on Friday posted its long-in-waiting Google TV update. First shown back in May, the update runs on Android 3.1 and adds support for downloadable apps for the first time. While it already had built-in apps before, it now has access to new video apps, games, and other titles optimized for the TV in Android Market.

The interface itself is also now much simpler. A tray at the bottom includes both quick access to content as well as shortcuts to favorite apps. Viewers can also see widgets.

Finding media is also now much more advanced, Google said. A new TV & Movies app finds shows on both traditional TV as well as Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and other portals. Viewers can switch on recommendations and get predictive suggestions much like they do on YouTube. Searches for YouTube keywords can e turned into channels to cover whole categories or subjects, not just individual channels.

YouTube itself is improved and is an expansion of the Leanback interface.

Updates are coming as soon as next week, starting with Sony's Internet TV line and following to the Logitech Revue. In a disappointment versus built-up expectations, however, "new devices on new chipsets" from hardware partners were only due to arrive in the "coming months."

The software is Google's second attempt at challenging digital media hubs like the Apple TV and Boxee Box and has an advantage over either in having a completely native, third-party app ecosystem. Without new hardware, however, Google and supporters are likely to hand the market to rivals during the crucial holiday period. Logitech's Revue sales were so low that it had to take a loss on price drops. Sony has never given a direct clue as to sales but has hinted the Internet TV was only a small part of its sales.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Apple needs to seriously stop

    dicking around with Apple TV and put some effort behind it. Unless Apple can't build A5 chips fast enough to put into AppleTV hardware, they're really wasting an opportunity. They should be able to turn AppleTV into a decent low-end gaming console with an upclocked A5 processor and the addition of iOS 5. It should be able to handle 1080p video, browse the internet and run iOS apps. I guess Apple is worried about eating into its other product lines or something.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999



    This is starting to take shape as a more serious platform for Google. Now, if they could ditch the awful keyboard remotes for these things and put in their voice actions with a simple remote with a directional pad, speak button and a microphone for text entry, then we'd have something worthwhile.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Hello. Google?

    Hey Google: the 20th Century called.
    They want their WebTV back.

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