As hinted, Google today announced in a post over at the official Google TV blog a new version of their software for set-top boxes, based on Android Honeycomb. It features a simpler and customizable user interface, brand new app for browsing movies and television shows, an improved YouTube and search experience and Android Market with apps. The revamped interface offers the new customizable home screen where you can put your favorite content for quick access. Just like your other Android devices, you can now hit the “all apps” section on your Google television to access shortcuts to your apps.
Speaking of apps, Google says 50 developers are now working on porting existing smartphone or tablet apps or writing new ones specifically for Google TV. Programs requiring a touch screen, GPS or telephony won’t show up in Android Market on Google TV. The new YouTube experience makes it easier to enjoy high-definition clips posted to the popular video sharing service, allowing you to turn any topic into a channel and supporting Google TV search.
Also new is the TV & Movies built-in app used to browse through 80,000 movies and TV episodes across cable or satellite, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and many other video sources on the web – and it comes with an opt-in recommendations engine. The new Google TV software drops on Sony set-top boxes “starting early next week” and Logitech boxes “soon thereafter”, the search company confirmed.
Interesting that the compatible hardware is ready, but will have to wait for an over-the-air update. For example, Logitech’s Revues boxes with Honeycomb stickers have been spotted in stores. Check out more juicy screenies and demo clips below the fold.