Google promised early this year that the Android Market is coming to Google TV via Android 3.x Honeycomb. Just today, Google’s most recent announcement tells us that its promise is about to be fulfilled. Google has provided a preview of the Google TV add-on for the Android Software Development Kit (SDK).
Way back in June, we were able to get a sneak preview of Google TV 2.0 beta (based on Android 3.1 Honeycomb) along with snapshots of its user interface and the Google-provided reference set-top box.
Although the new add-on from Google is just a preview, it will allow developers to emulate Google TV and consequently make their app development tasks much easier using the usual tools provided in the Android SDK. Emulation currently works on Linux with KVM (and works fast, too, according to Google), but we should be seeing support for other operating systems soon. The add-on also includes new APIs for TV interaction, which ought to make app development much easier.
Google TV product manager Ambarish Kenghe explains that some of the existing apps for Android may work with Google TV right out of the box, while other apps may need some tweaking. For instance, apps requiring touchscreen input will not be listed when accessing the Android Market from Google TV, since the latter doesn’t have a touchscreen.
Kenghe assures developers that Google is publishing guidelines for those who wish to develop apps for Google TV. The guidelines are intended to assist developers in such areas as optimizing for d-pad navigation, presenting information for 10-foot viewing, and creating cross-device apps.
In releasing this preview add-on, Google expects more attention and more apps to pour into the Google TV ecosystem.
What Android apps do you want to be among the first to make it to Google TV?