Google launched a new Google TV site yesterday, and announced some new content and application partnerships. A few of the apps that will come pre-installed on Google TV devices are Twitter, Pandora, Napster, Amazon and Netflix.
The new Google TV site comes just a couple of days before one of the first Google TV-ready products, the Logitech Revue, makes its debut at a Manhattan press event Wednesday. Sony is expected to have a Google TV-embedded HDTV on tap for the holidays as well.
Each of these companies is talking about their respective Google TV experiences today. From the sounds of it, users are going to be in for some cool things.
Twitter's Carolyn Penner blogged, "The application has most of the features and functionality that you’d expect from Twitter. It makes it easy to look through Tweets, @mentions, and favorites. When you click on a Tweet, you can reply, retweet, favorite, or share it. You will also see additional options depending on the content of the Tweet. For example, you can visit a URL or click a hashtag to search for it on Twitter. If a user is mentioned, you can visit that user’s profile to see their Tweets or follow them. And if there is a link to a photo or video, you can see a thumbnail version. Clicking the link will take you to the site so you can see a larger version of the photo or watch the video."
Pandora's Tom Conrad mentioned, "We're excited about what the Google TV platform means for the future of the Consumer Electronics device industry and for the last few months we've been working together with the Google TV team to deliver a Pandora experience that was built to take full advantage of the TV experience. With Pandora for Google TV you can easily tune in to the personalized stations you've created on the web or on your phone, listen, and rate songs with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. You can even create new stations right on Google TV. It's great for parties too -- as you listen, the screen updates with big beautiful album art and information that illustrates what's playing - a great conversation piece for you and your guests."
Netflix actually didn't reveal much about its app specifically, but it will likely operate like the service does on other devices. The Netflix app, for example, will let you tap into more than 20,000 streaming movies and TV shows. Netflix's Rich Ezekiel does say, "We’ll continue to work hard to maximize the flexibility for how, where, and when you want to instantly watch TV shows and movies streamed from Netflix."
John Biggs at CrunchGear wrote about Google TV's secret weapon being video calls from the TV, because of Logitech's Revue product and its ability to work with HD cameras. He calls to mind the buzz around Apple's FaceTime. He certainly makes an interesting point.
Even more interesting is the news that Google TV devices will get full Android Market access "early" next year — meaning you’ll be able to install just about any existing Android app onto your Google TV box.
Meanwhile, Google has revealed a list of websites that’ll be optimized for Google TV’s Chrome browser, ranging from TBS and TNT to the New York Times and CNN. You’ll also be able to watch Web videos on Google TV-ready sites from HBO, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim, Google says. And yes, Google TV’s Chrome browser supports Flash Player 10.1, which means Web pages with embedded Flash videos and modules will work.