Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Embedded

Google TV seeks apps

Posted: 17 May 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Android  Google TV  TV environment 

The annual Google I/O conference saw Google describing tools and plans to enable Android or web developers to release apps for Google TV, its Android-based software platform for connected televisions.

Google hopes it developer community will fuel interest in Google TV. This summer, Google will create a version 2.0 of Google TV based on the 3.1 version of Android, an upgrade of the Honeycomb version of Android for tablets. Developers who build apps for that platform will, for the first time, be able get access to a new Google TV area coming this summer to the Android Market, Google's online applications store.

Right now, developers can use an existing Honeycomb emulator to test Google TV apps. The company will also release a Google TV emulator for the PC soon. The company also announced that starting this summer, they will release a program called Fishtank that will provide a limited number of hardware emulators for Google TV 2.0 to select Android developers.

Google also described software libraries it is making available for web developers to write code for TV apps. During the presentation, the company provided guidelines for writing apps for a growing category of connected TVs.

"Eighty per cent of US homes have a PC, 90 per cent have a cell phone but 99 per cent have at least one TV," says Chris Wilson, a Google presenter at the Web session.

Chris Wilson

Worldwide, three quarters of homes have a TV. Only 20 lakh are connected to the Web today, but that is expected to grow to as much as 4.3 crore by 2018. In the US, TVs are viewed three times as much as PCs, he added.

The Internet giant announced Google TV with much fanfare at Google I/O a year ago. So far only two set-top boxes and one TV from initial partners Logitech and Sony are shipping with the software. Samsung and Vizio have Google TV products in the works, and other partners are in the pipeline, said Google TV developers.

The presentation on Android apps for Google TV drew an estimated 750 developers with a long overflow line of others waiting to get in. A separate session for Web-based developers garnered a smaller but still substantial crowd. The company hopes that increasing developer interest will spark more interest in the platform from TV makers.

Google TV presentation

Yahoo beat Google to market with a connected TV platform, which is now used by a number of TV makers including LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

The Android presentation showed how developers such as Pandora and CNBC reused code from smartphone apps for Google TV. It also reviewed the significant differences between existing Android apps and the Google TV environment including the larger display and lack of support for touch, GPS and telephony on the TV software. One developer also noted the lack of plug-and-play support for devices such as USB Web cameras.

Google released applications for creating a virtual TV remote control on an Android or Apple iPhone. The company will release the source code for the Android application under an Apache 2 licence, said Google developer Christian Kurzke, drawing enthusiastic applause from the crowd.

The company also plans to create a program that maintains a database of broadcast TV channels that developers can use as a resource in their apps. "There's a lot of other cool and interesting things we can do with the TV feed an in future, so we will expose more TV functionality into a TV library," says Kurzke.

"This is a really exciting time because we are enabling a market for apps on the TV for the first time," adds Kurzke.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

Comment on "Google TV seeks apps"
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top