Google reminded the public that its Web-meets-TV service is still around by releasing a version of its Google TV Remote application for Apple’s iPhone March 18.
Launched in October on Logitech’s Revue companion boxes and Sony Internet TVs and Blu-ray players, Google TV is an Android-based software service that lets users switch between their TV content and Web applications such as Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand.
The service was largely proclaimed pricey, unfinished, or even buggy by many reviewers. Google made some improvements in December to boost the user experience, releasing the Google TV Remote app connects to Google TV through a user’s WiFi network.
The Remote App mimics the Logitech-built Google TV keyboard controller, letting users change channels, adjust volume access DVR content.
However, it goes one better, letting users search for shows and movies by speaking into their handset, from anywhere in their house. Google originally only launched this app for Android phone users, leaving out Apple mobile device users who also use Google TV.
Google finally published the Remote App for iPhone to Apple’s iTunes App Store, which users can download for free to manage their Google TV content consumption from their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices running iOS 3 or higher.
Google offered one caveat for the app; for some reason the iOS remote will not allow Google TV users to share Web pages from their phone to their TV screen. This is a nifty feature Android phone owners can use to “fling” YouTube videos from their handsets to watch on the big screen at home.
Google Remote App for iPhone is just the latest of several free, native apps Google has designed for the iPhone since Apple loosened up its developer terms of service. The program joins Google Voice, Google Goggles, Google Latitude, Google Places, among others.
What is unclear is how many iPhone or iPad owners are using Google TV in lieu of Apple TV, the much cheaper but less functional Web TV product. That would certainly have a bearing on how many people download the free Remote App for iOS devices.