Last month, Google began showing the new versions of Google TV at CES, giving the press a taste of what was in store. One particular panel discussing Google TV’s new capabilities led Rupert Murdoch to take to Twitter, bemoaning the pirating ways of the search behemoth. Forbes has the backstory here. Google TV posted on its Facebook page yesterday, saying that it has some big announcements in store for Monday.
Today, it announced that it is upgrading the YouTube experience on Google TV with a new, revamped app. The YouTube app for Google TV is available for download on the Android Marketplace. The initial drive behind Google TV was to create a user experience that seamlessly blends web video with the boob tube, to change the way consumers interact with TV, but the first Google TV fell flat. Matt Burns reviewed the version, saying that, while it’s getting closer, it still has a long, long way to go.
In its announcement today, Google is promising some “big improvements” to its new YouTube app, among them that navigation is smoother and faster, along with some much-needed additions to its UX, like the new “Discover” feature, which basically just brings YouTube channel categories to Google TV, enhancing their browse-ability within the app. They’ve also brought its new channel pages, enabling users to navigate playlists and videos and subscribe to favorites.
Google says that users can also now view related videos from the same user by pressing the up and down arrows on their remote controls, or to find the “Info screen” to leave a thumbs up, add to your playlists, or to leave a comment.
The new app looks good, and this certainly stands to improve the YouTube experience on Google TV, though it’s certainly not the “big announcement” that many were hoping for. We’ll be keeping our ears out in the event that there’s more Google TV news in store for Monday.