Android Honeycomb Goes The Extra 10 Feet, Updates Google TV
Google TV has been around for quite a while but news about it has been buried amidst all the cheering for tablets and smartphones. The search giant wants to give back a bit of focus to this project by updating it to Honeycomb.
Devs got a first look at the new Google TV interface on Android 3.1. Going back to regular TV programming should be much easier this time around plus support for notifications has also been baked in. The big screen will also get full ADB support giving devs room to tinker around it, and an SDK will be available as well. Both of those will come later but Google is giving early access through the Fishtank program so developers can test apps on units without the need to modify their hardware.
The talk mostly was discussion on how to adapt apps to the larger screen of a television. There’s already a bit of fragmentation of the marketplace between tablets and smartphones. Putting up another screen into the mix will definitely be a challenge that devs have to face.
Apps have to be, among other things, be optimized for landscape view and for D-pad input. That last one is now easier to implement since the new version of Honeycomb has built-in support for a slew of USB devices.
I personally have been waiting for Android to grace my HDTV but alas, there are no devices available for this platform in my location. Android really has the capability of creating a better TV experience once this gets off the ground but for now, expect the first units to come in later this year (no products were announced during the talk itself).