We heard a bit of talk about Hulu this morning in all the Google TV hooplah. And it was reiterated later that the usual rule applies: Google TV has all the Flash it needs to watch Hulu. The question is will Hulu -- and any other only provider for that matter -- want to make itself available on Google TV. It's the exact same situation we're in with the Skyfire browser. Skyfire will play Hulu just fine, but Hulu doesn't want to be available on Skyfire, and so it blocks it.
There's still plenty of time for things to be worked out, and plenty of content providers that hopefully be lined up around the block to get on board.
We obviously have plenty of Froyo features to do deep dives on in the coming days and weeks, but there's one new feature that we want to point out that has us particularly excited: voice dialing with Bluetooth headsets. Android Central reader Luke tipped us off to take a closer look at Google's Android 2.2 rundown and right there, plain as day, they drop the bluetooth bomb:
Voice dialing over Bluetooth
Ability to share contacts with other phones
Support for Bluetooth enabled car and desk docks
Improved compatibility matrix with car kits and headsets
All of the above is quite nice, but given that Android is miles ahead of other mobile platform when it comes to robust voice support, it's good to see them finally check that box off.
With support for Flash Player 10.1, Google TV customers have access to the full web. This includes the approximately 75% of online videos and web games that use Flash, the vast numbers of rich Internet applications, and content across social networks. Flash Player 10.1 will support hardware-accelerated video playback and deliver smooth, HD (1080p) quality video on Google TV devices. We're excited that having Flash Player 10.1 as a key part of Google TV will enable an additional screen for the more than 3 million Flash developers to create content for.
Hit this link for a video of it in action. Really, the best thing we can say about the demos we saw today is that this stuff just works. Flash works. It's there. And we can't wait to try it out.
Logitech has gone ahead and put out a few details on their "companion box" for the just announced Google TV. They plan on 'leveraging [their] Harmony remote technology," which will mean you won't need a separate IR repeater to control the other elements of your home entertainment system and will mean you can still have a single remote for the whole shootin' match. Well, actually that's not true, as their set-top box will also "include a controller that's specifically designed to optimize the Google TV experience - combining a compact keyboard, remote control, and touchpad." Logitech will also apparently have their own smartphone app to control their box.
Logitech also hopes to add an HDTV camera and video calling software so you can do videoconferencing right from your couch.
We don't know the specific branding yet, nor do we have a release date beyond "later this fall." One thing we do know now, and this might depress a bunch of you, is that Logitech says their product will be US-only, we suspect the same might be true for Google TV in general.
Battery and power: We added a new capability called instance management to intelligently load and play back Flash content only after it comes within view on the web page. This capability also allows us to work in conjunction with the browser to ensure the web page is loaded as quickly as possible. ... A related capability we added is called pause and resume. Flash Player will automatically pause the content that is running when the browser is hidden from view or the current tab is placed in the background.
Maximizing performance: To take advantage of these highly integrated hardware environments, we took a very comprehensive look at how Flash Player uses the CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The Flash Player team, with engineering cooperation across our Open Screen Project partners, meticulously optimized the machine instructions used in our virtual machine, rendering engine, and media codecs to run efficiently on mobile hardware. ... The investments we made in execution speed will be apparent in a broad range of content, from Flash applications to games to video, and everything in between. We took an extensive look at the performance characteristics of Flash Player in many different scenarios and drove considerable improvements in the execution speed.
Conserving memory: We have added automatic compression of media in memory to matchthe typically smaller screen size and color depth of a mobile device. We have also enhanced the memory garbage collection system to work more effectively, particularly in low memory situations. We made changes to more aggressively release temporary buffers and media caches for images and audio data. These changes have translated into some dramatic improvements. In some cases, you'll see content that now automatically consumes 50% less memory with Flash Player 10.1 when compared to our previous release.
Usability: Multitouch is included. It also has smart zooming and knows when to go full-screen. Text fields will know whether to use soft or physical keyboards, and the accelerometer is fully functional.
Today at Google IO, Google has announced the Google TV platform. It will start right up in Television instead of into a specific interface. It can change channels, access your DVR, and even access the original guide. You can use your own remote or use a new remote control that Google will offer.
The hardware itself will include TV sets, blu-ray players, companion set boxes. Will work with any existing cable or satellite box. There are 4 key components: WiFi/ethernet, you existing cable/satellite via HDMI, it comes with an IR blaster to control your other components, and a special IP protocol for Dish network boxes. The boxes will have powerful CPU and GPU and support HD content. The processor will be the Intel Atom.
All input devices will require both a keyboard and a pointing device. Or, yes, you can just use your Android Phone. Since Android supports voice input, you can voice search for television shows(!). You can also 'send' web pages you have on your Android device to your television. They will publish the remote control protocol so 3rd party developers can make remote apps.
The Google TV is built off Android 2.1 (will update later). The browser is Google Chrome. It includes a full Flash 10.1 plugin for Chrome. Android Apps will also be usable on the TV since it's built on Android - though that feature doesn't look like it will be available at launch.
Hardware partners include Sony with TVs and Blu-ray players, Logitech with companion boxes. Coming in Fall 2010. Google is also partnered with Dish network, so they'll get the best experience. Best Buy will be selling it all.
More details after the break! Update: Google has released a demo video, it's after the break!
Google is showing off the next version of Android right now - Android 2.2, aka Froyo. We're liveblogging it right now, but you can watch this post to get the key bullet points of the new version as we hear about them
App data backup
Improved Enterprise / Exchange Support
Push services - "Android Intent"
Tethering / Mobile Hotspot
Much faster browsing experience - V8 in browser
New functionality in browser- Camera, orientation, geolocation
Support for Adobe Flash and Adobe Air
Search the Android Marketplace directly from Quick Search
The ability to install applications on the SD card automatically
One-button update or automatic update for apps
The ability to purchase music from Android Marketplace
The ability to stream your own music from your desktop
The Froyo craziness continues - Google as already released the Software Development Kit for Android 2.2.
If you're an Android developer, go on over to the Android Developer site to get your download on so you can learn all about the new speed, how app data backup works, the fact that your app can now be installed on SD cards, and all the other hot details on Android 2.2.
While you're thinking about what 2.2 can offer your app, don't forget that Google's also offering enhanced mobile ads, if that's your model. Plus, hey, you might also think about how your app can work on Google TV. Not a bad time to be an Android developer, eh?
Like many of you, we are already wondering if and when our favorite Android phones will get the Froyo Android 2.2 upgrade. By "favorite Android phones" we naturally mean the hotness made by HTC. So, we asked and here's the deal: if your phone was released in 2010, you have a good chance of getting Froyo. Definitely on deck: The Desire, Droid Incredible, EVO 4G,MyTouch Slide, and future models. We don't have a specific ETA yet, but "second half of this year" is certainly a lot more promising than "someday, maybe."
Here's the official word:
[...] if your phone was launched this year, we will most likely offer an upgrade for it to the Froyo version. This includes popular models like the Desire and Droid Incredible as well as hotly anticipated phones like the Evo 4G, MyTouch slide and upcoming models. We will announce a full list of phones and dates once we are closer to launching the upgrades. We are working closely with Google and our other partners to ensure we have the earliest access to everything we need to provide a complete and solid Sense experience on Froyo. We expect to release all updates in the second half of this year but can't be more specific yet.
Google isn't taking Apple's iAds initiative sitting down (actually at Google IO, they are having all kinds of fun tweaking Apple), they're showing off more interactive ads right now - ads that aren't necessarily even Google ads, they can be served simply via Doubleclick (or whomever). Adsense for mobile apps has been offered to everybody at the Google IO conference with $100 free advertising credit.
The new ads can ads that send you directly to a mobile app, movie previews, "expandable" ads, do click-to-call directly, and more.
Google is currently showing off some amazing Android Marketplace improvements right now. You can now browse the Android Market from your desktop and send apps and music directly to your device over the internet without having to tether over USB (yet another shot at Apple there). Yep, Android Marketplace will be selling music soon.
What has us really pumped, however, is that they're currently demoing the ability to stream your own music (provided it isn't locked under DRM) from your desktop to your Android phone.
We are liveblogging Google's announcement of Froyo right and and while the new features have us very excited, what has us most intrigued is the rate of potshots taken at the iPhone: it's nearly one every three minutes so far. From...
pointing out that they have more web usage
to tweaking the fact that Apple's App Store is limited
to showing their new mobile browser literally lapping the iPad for speed
to pointing out that people actually want to use Flash on the web
to mocking the iTunes app and music desktop experience that requires you to tether over USB to transfer your new purchases
to talking about a "draconian" future where "one company" and "one man" controlled the mobile space...
...Google is clearly not afraid to thumb their nose at Steve Jobs & Co.
Google is showing off some numbers today: 100,000 devices sold a day, the number two smartphone in the US after BlackBerry, over 1 billion miles navigated with Google Navigator, 28 OEMs, 48 countries, 59 carriers. ...all in about 18 months.
T-Mobile just announced that the myTouch 3G Slide will be available on June 2 for $179.99 (after $50 mail in rebate) with new 2-year contract. Like we expected, the myTouch 3G Slide will be available in three colors: black, white and red and will hit retail stores, authorized dealers, and online all at once on June 2nd. The myTouch 3G Slide packs a 3.4-inch screen with a physical keyboard and 5-megapixel camera but its best feature has to be Android 2.1 + Sense. We've been anticipating the launch for some time, so June 2nd can't come soon enough! Are any of you guys getting the myTouch 3G Slide?
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