Launched last year to lukewarm reception, Google TV flopped hard because of a number of things — overpriced set top boxes and integrated HDTVs as well as a bare and hard to navigate interface. Say hello to Google TV again, because Google's giving it another whack with a new update.
Android 3.1 brings with it better YouTube streaming and support from other video services such as Daily Motion, Redux and Vimeo, online photo galleries from Flickr and Picasa and most importantly, the Android Market.
Bringing Android apps to the TV is huge. They'll be Google TV optimized, so they look correct on your HDTV. Getting access to games, music, news and all sorts of content has the chance to make Google TV what it was originally supposed to be: a bridge between the Internet and the living room.
Aside from that, Google looks to have given the OS a much-needed straightening by making the UI simpler and more consistent, starting with a customizable home screen. Searching for stuff is said to be dramatically improved (finally!), too.
Google says the new 3.1 update should start showing up for Sony HDTVs and Google TV boxes by early next week and on Logitech Revue boxes shortly after. We'll know for sure when we grab an update and test the new Google TV for ourselves.
Via Google TV