Google announced a new software update for Google TV aimed at reaching four goals: keeping things simple, making it easier to find something worth watching, making YouTube better on TV, and bringing more apps to TV.
"We look forward to announcing more hardware and chipset partnerships in the months ahead and shipping new devices at new price points in 2012," a Google spokesperson tells WebProNews.
"The initial version of Google TV wasn’t perfect, but launching it gave us the opportunity to learn. These are still early days, and we’re working hard to move forward with each update," Google says in a blog post discussing the new update.
"We also worked to put in place some fundamental components that will make more frequent and more powerful software updates a reality," the company says. "We know it will take time to get it right -- this is a marathon, not a sprint -- and with each update, we take another step forward."
The update itself comes with a simpler interface and a customizable home screen (pictured above) designed to let users get to their favorite content more quickly. There are also shortcuts within "all apps," like with Android.
There are search improvements for both live TV and apps like Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, etc. Along with that, there's an app called "TV & Movies" that lets you browse through as many as 80,000 movies and TV episodes across cable/satellite and web services.
There have been various reports about upcoming YouTube channels to be more TV-friendly, and it looks like that is a part of this update too. "We’re launching a new YouTube experience specifically built for Google TV," Google says in the blog post. "It is now fast and easy to get to your favorite HD-quality YouTube entertainment. And we’ve integrated YouTube more closely with Google TV search, so that you can turn virtually any topic – mountain biking, cooking, etc. – into a channel."
On the apps front, Google is now letting Android developers bring existing mobile apps or entirely new apps to Google TV. Those that require a touch screen won't appear on Google TV.
The next version of Google TV is tentatively scheduled to begin shipping to consumers on Sunday (October 30). It will start on Sony devices, and then go to Logitech devices.