The most recent updates to Google’s Google TV platform appear to have taken full advantage of its owner’s Android operating system, with the enhancements meaning that the service is now running on the newest ‘Android 4.2.2′ version, as well as the latest version of the Google Chrome web browser.
First announced on Google+ yesterday (15 May), the changes will see new devices automatically feature the updates while existing ones gain it via download, with ‘all major features’ Android and Chrome expected to feature on user’s TV screens.
Google note in their post: “Today, Google TV is moving to the latest version of Android (Jelly Bean, 4.2.2), and we’ve refactored Google TV so that our TV OEM partners can update to future versions of Android in a matter of weeks rather than months. For developers, this means you can build TV experiences using the latest Android APIs, including the NDK. Today, Google TV is also moving to the latest version of Chrome, and from now on Google TV benefits from Chrome updates on the same six week cycle that you’ve come to expect from Chrome. In Chrome on Google TV, we’ve added support for hardware-based content protection, enabling developers to provide premium TV content in HD within their web apps.”
With a number of developers and ‘Google TV hardware partners’ having worked on the new edition since February, the update is being seen as the biggest opportunity for the formerly ‘Android 3.2′-based platform to improve since that version came into play in late 2011.
However, it won’t be a full release, with Google also confirming that only ‘ARM’ Google TV devices will receive the upgrade, as opposed to ‘first-generation Intel’ set-top-boxes and TV sets that carry Google TV.
For those ARM users, though, features such as higher-quality performance, an enhanced user interface integration, Android 4 app porting support, and a rumoured ‘Google Now’ implementation could all contribute to a more improved and well-rounded general service, with hints that Google’s recently-rumoured ‘Google Play Games’ cloud gaming platform could soon also receive integration.
With plenty of potential for a service that connects to even more Google-based entertainment features, will this week’s operating system enhancements be seen as the platform for Google to launch a refreshed challenge on the smart TV market?