Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YouTube and Photos Updates for Your Google TV

Google TV updates:

YouTube and Photos apps


A few weeks ago we announced a software update for Google TV, along with a commitment to deliver the best way for you to engage with more high-quality entertainment on your television. We said that we’d improve your Google TV on an ongoing basis, and today we’re introducing new experiences for your YouTube and Photos apps.  These are just two of many updates to come from Google and from lots of app developers.


YouTube

The new Google TV YouTube experience introduces playlists to your living room. You can now easily watch your YouTube subscriptions on your HDTV and quickly access your other playlists like Watch Later and Favorites. If you have your own channel, you can now add videos to it from your Google TV. So whether you’re a newshound wanting a constant stream of world events or you’re a curator in search of an even more endless summer of content, you can sit back on your comfy couch and enjoy YouTube’s thousands of options in the High Definition brilliance of your Google TV.
Photos

Your Google TV Photos app already syncs with your online photo albums uploaded to Picasa & Flickr, and now we’ve added a great new feature called Discover to your Google TV Photos app.  Discover creates an animated and constantly changing collage using photos from the albums you have uploaded online and synced with your Google TV. When you click on one of the photos in Discover, you go straight to the album where you can start a slideshow or simply view other photos in the album. With Discover you now have an even more fun way to rediscover your favorite memories caught on camera. 


These are just a few of the many updates coming in the future, so stay tuned and enjoy your Google TV.  

Posted by:

Wiktor Gworek, Software Engineer & Bartosz Leper, Software Engineer

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Google Music is Here


Google Music just arrived to Google TV

Yesterday, Google Music announced that their service is opening up to a broader audience and that it will integrate with the music store on Android Market to make music discovery, purchase, and sharing easy and fast.

Today, we’re excited to launch the Google Music App for Google TV. 
The app syncs with your Google Music account in the cloud, so there is no need to stream from a computer or download songs to the TV. Simply download the Google Music app for Google TV from Android Market, login with your account, and enjoy your entire music library through your HDTV and home theater system.  

Google Music for Google TV plays in the background while you enjoy other apps on your Google TV.  You can add a custom soundtrack to slideshows from the Photos app, you can enjoy your favorite tunes while surfing the web, or you can just add some mood music while you peruse the latest news headlines, all from the comfort of your couch.

To get you started on Music, visit music.google.com on your computer, sign-up for the free service, upload your music to the cloud or buy music on the Android Market. Once finished, you can play all of your tracks on Google TV the same way as you can do on your computer, phone or tablet.

We’ll continue to improve your Google TV by bringing more entertainment all the time, so be on the lookout for future updates to the Google Music app along with other great apps coming to Google TV.

Posted by Jurek Foryciarz, Product Manager, Google TV

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Watch only the best sports with Thuuz for Google TV

Guest post from Thuuz
(A series highlighting the most interesting new apps available for Google TV)
The thrill of watching sports comes from experiencing the suspense and drama as it unfolds.  At Thuuz, our mission has been to let sports fans know about great games they may be missing – and to get them into the game as often as possible. With its combination of live TV and online access, Google TV is kind of our Holy Grail. It gives us a platform to alert sports fans to great games, and provides more options than any other platform for actually watching those games.
Here’s how it works:

Step 1. Thuuz (as in “enthusiast”) monitors all the matches involving your favorite sports, leagues and teams. We process play-by-play feeds and other automated sources to generate an excitement rating between 0-100 for each game.  Factors include parity, pace, novelty, momentum and context.
Step 2. We alert you to the truly exciting performances with on-screen notifications.
Step 3. You can click to jump to the appropriate TV channel or streaming source for both live games and replays.
That’s it. It’s designed to be simple.

We’ve got a Google TV box hooked up to a wall-mounted TV at the office, so we can QA our excitement ratings from the couch.  It’s great for streaming ESPN3 games on the big screen instead of a laptop.  We also catch the best European soccer and rugby matches from the night before using FoxSoccer.tv.   

We currently cover MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA football and basketball, MLS and 5 European soccer leagues, cricket and rugby.  There’s still plenty of work ahead to add more sports, features and content, plus individual athlete excitement alerts for your favorite players.  We’ll also be building out the personal preferences, as we’ve learned that each fan has his/her own take on what makes a game exciting.

The Thuuz app can be found here in Android Market.

Bill Bradford, COO & Co-founder, Thuuz

Friday, November 11, 2011

NASCAR LIVE on Google TV

Guest post from NASCAR

(A series highlighting the most interesting new apps available for Google TV)

I am excited to announce the first official NASCAR application that has been optimized for the big screen experience – NASCAR.COM LIVE.  When I found out that Google was planning to extend the successful Android Market onto Google TV, I was encouraged by the evolution of the product and began brainstorming on how to make a cool product that NASCAR fans would enjoy.  

To me, NASCAR is a bold sport – its drivers are larger than life, the cars are faster than anything I can relate to, and the competitiveness is measured in milliseconds of granularity that is best viewed in HD.  When we started, we realized that this platform is, first and foremost, about video and so we wanted to put as much video content as we could into the app.  We then thought about how we would use the data we have to soothe some of the pain points of the live TV broadcast.  NASCAR.COM LIVE brings fans the best on-demand HD video clips of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.

When it comes to race day, the TV broadcasts do a great job but there are a number of ways that interactive features can add to the broadcast experience.  The scrolling ticker graphics that are used on TV are a nice way to keep up with the standings in real time but sometimes I really want to know where my favorite driver is.  And I want to know now, not wait until the ticker scrolls through all 43 drivers.  So, we added Live Leaderboard to the “Live mode” of the app to allow fans to scroll through the leaderboard as they wish. 

Another cool feature is our Lap-by-Lap text updates that build up into an archive throughout the race. This provides fans a great summary of the race and gives them a way to analyze on their own terms.  

When you pair Live Leaderboard and Lap-by-Lap with Google TV’s built in picture-in-picture feature then you’ve got a really cool way to watch the race that’s the perfect complement to the TV broadcast.

Finally we realize that the family room is a personal place and often times a social gathering for race events.  Perhaps half of the room has avid and loyal NASCAR fans but your other friends are new to the sport and want to learn more.  That’s why we wanted to put in beautiful high resolution photos of drivers, cars, team information, and use the NASCAR 101 section to teach the basics of the sport.  It’s a fun way to get hooked on racing.

I’m excited about Google TV and the app, but—as with any product—there are always opportunities to make it better. Check out NASCAR.COM LIVE and let us know how we can make the experience even better for you.

The NASCAR app can be found here in Android Market.

Jim Doeden, Associate Product Manager, NASCAR.COM

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Engadget, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and more all in one shiny new AOL HD app

Guest post from AOL
(A series highlighting the most interesting new apps available for Google TV)

AOL is a new entrant in the connected TV space, we launched our first apps on a handful of platforms over the summer and have been gaining momentum ever since. Our approach was to create an interactive environment that showcased our content and engaged users – yet was simple enough for a regular remote control.

Late this summer, we were invited to Google’s NY offices for a sneak peek at Google TV’s V2 and had the opportunity to test the upcoming release. The user experience was markedly improved and after playing around with it for a while, we knew that our friends in Mountain View had built a real contender in the connected TV space. So we enlisted the help of our crackerjack Android development team in Dulles to port our current release (with all the bells and whistles) to Google TV and in a matter of a few weeks, they delivered a shiny new experience for Google TV.



AOL HD on Google TV features three great channels of video content: Entertainment, Tech, and Home from some of the most trusted sources on the web like the Huffington Post, Engadget, Moviefone and TechCrunch. Each channel features HD videos with hundreds of videos with fresh new content being added every day, so there is always something new to watch.


If you watched the hundreds of hours of video on AOL HD and still need more entertainment, then sit back and find some new music on our CD Listening Party, a unique experience that allows users to listen to a weekly variety of 15-30 newly released albums for free!


You can find AOL HD in Android Market.  If you’d like to learn more or want to contact us, go to http://hd.aol.com.  

We look forward to entertaining you.

Rob Delacruz, General Manager, AOL HD

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Allrecipes TV helps families tackle “what’s for dinner?” on the best screen in the house

Guest post from Allrecipes
(A series highlighting the most interesting new apps available for Google TV)

All of us with a passion for cooking love it when everyone wants to know how we made it. Sharing our formula for a successful dish is one of the most gratifying experiences for any aspiring home cook. Even that secret recipe which eventually gets leaked, like my personally long held secret Coast-to-Coast Famous Wings recipe.

Nearing our 15th birthday, Allrecipes was started as a way to help people share their favorite recipes, and gather a community of home cooks passionate about practical, kitchen tested, everyday meals that lead to success at the dinner table.

Allrecipes TV showcases the passionate contributions of our members - you can see all of what our entire community of home cooks have been making and sharing, with tens of thousands of recipes, photos, reviews and everything you need to find the next winning meal for your family.

Allrecipes TV brings you “best of” collections - some of the favorite selections from our most popular categories of recipes. You are sure to find a winner among collections from Appetizers to Slow Cooker.



We also have a complete browse-by-category starting with Cuisine, Dish Type, Main Ingredient, Cooking Method, and Occasions.

Of course, every recipe comes packed with a photo gallery, member reviews and tips, and nutrition information. You can also share your favorite recipes via email, Facebook, Twitter or other avenues for social plug-ins you have installed on your Google TV.



Last, but not least, the most commonly requested “how to” videos for cooking techniques, entire recipes, as well as our growing library of web shows, including “What’s Cooking”. We’ll be adding more videos on a regular basis.

We hope you enjoy the app and find lots of great dishes to try, enjoy and share. We’re planning to continue to add new features and make the app even better, so please tell us what you’d like to see.

The Allrecipes app can be found here in Android Market.

Scott Scazafavo, VP Product Management, Allrecipes.com