Google is offering a Google TV software module to help developers get started building applications tailored for the big screen. These apps will be offered free or sold through the Android Market.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) Aug. 22 launched a Google TV software module to help developers begin
building Web TV applications and eventually offer them through the search
engine's Android Market.
last October launched Google TV
, a Web television platform based on the
open-source Android operating system that lets users surf the Web and TV
channels with the Google Chrome Web browser.
service has suffered from slow sales after a buggy launch on Logitech Revue
companion boxes and Sony HDTVs and Blu-ray players. As recently as May, Google
also promised to open up Google TV to third-party developers who want to write
apps and sell them in the Android Market.
it's just a prelude to this full offering, this new add-on should give Android
developers a taste for how to develop applications for the bigger displays
powered by Google TV.
is particularly important for developers accustomed to writing software for
Android phones and Android "Honeycomb" tablets, whose displays are
exponentially smaller than those of 42-inch digital TVs.
Google is launching Google TV 2.0 this summer, using the very "Honeycomb"
OS popularized on Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab and other tablets.
that Honeycomb upgrade, Google TV devices will be Android-compatible. This
means developers will
be able to write Android apps for TV, tailor existing mobile or tablet apps for
TV, and distribute them free or sell them through Android Market
, will let developers test their existing Android apps to
determine if they would be a good fit for TV. The module includes new APIs for
features such as TV channel lineups.
there are some caveats to this add-on: Apps that require features not supported
on Google TV won't appear in Android Market on Google TV.
example, while Honeycomb is tailored for slates with touch screens, Google
TV-based devices do not have a touch screen. This means apps that require touch
screens will not appear.
TV emulation is currently supported on Linux with KVM only, though Google is
working on support for other operating systems.
TV was a disappointment for some users and industry watchers-Logitech
fired its CEO over poor Revue sales
-but the company expects to remedy that
with the Honeycomb upgrade this summer.
some expect Google could augment the service, which has suffered from lack of
interest by broadcasters, with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI)
and its set-top box business.
could integrate Google TV software with the Motorola STBs
and sell them on
the cheap to cable providers and managed service operators such as Verizon
(NYSE:VZW) and AT&T (NYSE:T).