Google TV isn’t dead yet. In fact, there’s a big update on the way.
Code-named “Fishtank,” Google is apparently set to introduce a brand new version of Android, version 3.1, to the TV operating system. The company handed out a select number of brochures to developers at this week’s Google I/O event with details about the Fishtank program.
According to GTV Source, Google is encouraging developers to create unique app experiences for the TV platform, and they’ll have a lot more tools at their disposal with the introduction of Android 3.1.
The Google TV platform launched with very high ambitions but has failed to live up to the hype. Google was so disappointed with the initial reception of the service that it specifically called on manufacturers to scrap their plans to reveal any Google TV announcements at CES earlier this year.
The main issue is that despite Google TV running on Android and deeply integrating to the Internet, the selection of content available on the platform is miniscule. The apps that are available – Netflix, ESPN, Youtube, etc – are pretty much no different than the standard slate of programs on any Internet-connected TV. There is no “Android Market” for Google TV.
For consumers, it’s a big problem. The whole idea of Google TV is to integrate apps into the TV experience. For example, have an app that evaluates your TV viewing history, or a “chat room” app that lets people watching the same live TV program to chat with one another while watching the show.
Those are the kinds of apps that Google TV’s early adopters want to see, and hopefully what they can expect when the whole Fistank program goes live.